Memorial Day signals the beginning of the summer entertaining season. That’s ninety some odd summer days and nights brimming with opportunity to gather together with family and friends. Is there a summer is here big party blowout in your Memorial Day weekend future or is the plan for something in the neighborhood of quality over quantity for just you, yours and a few close friends? Here are five tips to help you master the summer entertaining season.
Regardless of the numbers involved, the ultimate party favor you can give to you and your guests is an enjoyable and relaxing time. Endless hours of planning and preparing does not a successful party guarantee. However, what does come very close to guaranteeing a successful party is setting an at ease example. Guests usually take the party lead from the attitude of the host and/or hostess which sets the tone for a comfortable let the good times roll atmosphere.
Popular points of culinary and entertaining interest set an inviting place at the summer table. I like to take my tablescape in a casually elegant direction. I know there is quite a bit of considerable thought put into achieving the anything but uptight, stuffy finished result through the right accents, lighting, selected place settings, serveware and flowers, but I want the memo to read effortless chic. This look is achieved with simple finds from my usual haunts- antiques shops, new to you shops, dollar stores, arts and crafts stores and the always handy in-house treasures, trinkets and trash closet. Visually impressive table settings need not be an expensive or exhausting endeavor.
Kick off the summer sippin’ season with the unofficial official fruit of summer, the watermelon.
Watermelon Lemonade Slushies anyone? Click on the link for the recipe from Life in the Lofthouse. Watermelon Punch looks summer yummy too! Click on the video for instructions.
Dazzle the thirsty through sight and taste. Nothing says welcome to our summer soiree quite like a cool summer appropriate beverage.
Summer just isn’t summer until something is basted, marinated or smothered in a stellar Southern BBQ sauce. In Louisiana we don’t need an excuse to jazz it up, fire it up and kick it up, but if we did, summer would be all the excuse needed. Good barbecue is what we call summer stock. We aren’t afraid to turn up the heat, spice or seasoning, but when entertaining we dial back the kick to a respectable c’est si bon level to accommodate the taste bud timid. Good cooks and even better hosts know a little goes a long way in the flavor department and account for all tastes considered.
Balance is key. Entertaining mirrors interior design and decorating in regards to balance. When selecting the music for the party playlist, I aim to keep the types, styles, genres and decades balanced somewhere between current hits, grooving to the oldies, what movie is this from, smooth and easy jazz, lounge lizard standards and the soundtrack to high school and college days gone by. Balance the bar to the standard rule of party planning with help from the handy drink calculator from Total Wine & More.
Balance safety with responsibility.
As always- drink and host responsibly.