Since the holiday season is here, we know you’ll be doing more than your share of party planning, so we thought we'd share some of the biggest hosting don'ts we could think of. Are you committing any of these party fouls?
The worst thing you can do before serving the meal is to apologize for it. Guests don't need to know you had to substitute a certain ingredient or you made some tweaks to the recipe. Don't tell them they're not going to like it before they even get a chance to taste it.
We understand that cooking for a large group can be tricky, but apologizing for what you're about to serve makes guests feel awkward. If you don't think your dish is up to a certain standard, that's your opinion and something that should be kept to yourself. Let guests enjoy their meal without someone telling them that what they're eating could be better.
As tempting as it may be to man the stove and stay close to the kitchen to tidy as you go or prep anything that hasn't been done in advance, it's your party, so you should be with your guests. If you don't mix and mingle, you have two problems:
Hosting can be stressful, and we all have disagreements with loved ones but avoid bringing your disagreements to the dinner table. Your guests don't need to see you and your spouse arguing about who burnt the roast vegetables or why the upstairs bathroom didn't get cleaned. Keep your arguments to yourself while you have a houseful of guests. You'll just make them uncomfortable and will likely dampen the mood of the party.
The wine you're serving might have cost more than your entire outfit (and your husband's), but there's no need to brag about it. Treating guests to something special, be it a liquor, cut of meat, decadent dessert or the aforementioned bottle of wine, should be just that — a treat, and not an excuse to show off and wave around a price tag. It's tacky and makes you seem like you're trying to create a competition out of who can spend the most on their dinner party. Just let your guests enjoy themselves — without telling them how much their last mouthful cost.
If someone doesn't want dessert or a second helping or another cocktail, that's OK. It might be acceptable for your grandmother to push food and drinks on people even when they've declined 13 times, but she's from a different era and won't take no for an answer anyway. As a good hostess you need to respect people's wishes and avoid putting them on the spot if they turn something down.
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