Do you feel like having a party? A spur-of-the-moment desire to host friends or family is not uncommon. Though it may be ideal to give yourself a few days to plan a dinner party and assemble what’s needed to be your best host, sometimes inspiration strikes and compels people to throw last-minute dinner parties.
In such instances, these tips for putting together a feast on the fly can be especially valuable.
• Keep it simple. Build your menu around your own specialty, ideally one that is easy to prepare. Don’t try out that fancy new cookbook recipe right now. Single-pot casseroles or pasta dishes whip up in a flash and can feed a crowd.
• Stock essentials at home. It’s easier to invite people over at the last minute if you don’t have to shop for supplies. Keep a running inventory of foods that can be brought out at a moment’s notice, such as items that may go on a charcuterie platter. Olives, block cheeses, crackers, salad fixings, cured meats, and fresh vegetables can be arranged in a heartbeat. With a can of chick peas, some garlic, lemon juice, and parsley at the ready, you can quickly create a homemade hummus, too.
• Consider a potluck. Guests may want to help out if they are invited over on short notice. A potluck is a perfect way to fill a table with food with minimal effort, as everyone contributes a little something.
• Clean the visible rooms. There likely won’t be time to clean your entire home before an impromptu party. Therefore, focus on the kitchen, dining area and guest bathroom. Gather errant items from around the house and store in a bedroom behind closed doors. Close doors on other spaces that are off-limits during the party.
• Get the kids involved. If you have children, give them jobs to help out. They can set tables, fill ice cube trays or run the vacuum over high-traffic areas. Removing some tasks from your to-do list can free your time for other needs.
• Scour your home. Create interesting place settings or a festive table with items you already have on hand. Consider using food as functional decor on a table. A bowl of lemons makes an eye-catching centerpiece.
Make last-minute dinner parties happen with a few tricks of the trade.