Apr 182010

Shaker One here.  Let’s talk a bit about a lost art and pleasure- entertaining at home.  Now I’m not talking about hosting an enormous bash for 1oo, but rather gathering a small collection of friends together to share a meal, a few drinks, a few more laughs.  There are always so many reasons why we don’t do this-

“my place is too small/too messy!”

“I’m not a good cook/I don’t know what to make”

or the favorite-

“I just don’t have time”

Let’s address these one at a time.

First,  The Balcony Bar is tiny.  I mean “you’d better like everyone you invite ’cause they’re gonna be veeerrry close” small.  As long as you keep your guest list to a reasonable number for your size space, it will be fine.  Just don’t try to arrange a nine course sit down formal dinner party for 12 in your studio apartment.  And as for the too messy thing?  Clean your damn house!  Ok, ok, don’t get mad.  Seriously, keep your public areas reasonably picked up and your kitchen and bathroom immaculate and don’t sweat the rest.  As the saying goes, “If they matter, they won’t care.  If they care, they don’t matter”.  Your real friends won’t care that you have cat hair on the sofa.  Get over it.

Next up the old “I’m not good enough”.  Curse you, Martha Stewart, for making people think feel that if it can’t all be perfectly crafted by hand it should not be attempted at all.  People, she has minions.  Many, many winged monkeys to wash her dishes and shop and clean and prep.  And while there’s nothing wrong with aspiring to greater heights of hostessing fabulousness, don’t give up because you’re not her.  She’s not even real.

If you’re not a great cook, find the best take out in your area, have a make-it-yourself pizza party, hold a potluck.  If you aren’t sure what to make, choose a theme.  Google.  Check out some good blogs and websites for ideas.  For goodness sake, have a wine and cheese party.  Surely there’s a decent place near you where you can pick up a baguette, a few cheeses and a couple bottles of vino?  The point is not what you have, but who you share it with.

Which brings me to the last excuse- the ever popular “who has the time?”.  No one does.  You don’t have time, you make time.  Life is short.  Creating moments you get to share with the people you enjoy is worth a small amount of effort and inconvenience.  That’s what entertaining is truly about.  Not the doilies or the menu, but the people.  Shared conversation and laughter cover many a culinary sin.  Oh, and candle light makes it hard to see the dust bunnies!

Now you may be asking what this post is doing on a martini blog?  Well, this blog is about more than just martinis, just as a martini is about more than just the liquid in the cocktail glass.  It’s about creating moments of pleasure in your life…trying new things, experimenting with tastes, the civilized joy of doing something special for yourself and/or your guests…….

Make a point of entertaining at home.  Work within the boundaries of your space, your culinary comfort level and your schedule.  Don’t make it overly complicated.  And don’t wait for a special occasion.  Are you sending out those evites yet?  Well, what are you waiting for?


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