Last Saturday night Husband and I had a couple over for dinner. We spent a good part of the day cleaning the house - ie. vacuuming, dusting, putting stuff away, cleaning the bathrooms, setting the table, doing dishes, lining up the booze etc. The one thing we didn't do was actually cook the meal. Our hors d'oeurves and desserts were also store bought. OK, I made a cucumber salad to go with our Pakistani take-out.
I'm finding that more and more we have opted to entertain in this manner. We have noticed that our friends are doing similar. A long time ago I wrote about the family Sunday dinner being potentially a lost tradition. What about the idea of actually cooking the meal when hosting a dinner? Is it acceptable in this day and age to entertain in this fashion? Or are our friends saying "yeah, nice meal, but it would have been nice to get something homemade"?!
My guilty conscience would have me believe that it's about getting together, great company, good booze, good music and that kind of thing. It's a lot nicer to have the same meal in someone's home than at the restaurant where the service might be better, but it wouldn't be as comfortable and relaxing.
I did take out all the food from their partially melted styrofoam containers and put them into nice serving bowls, which went in to a warming oven until we were all ready to eat. In the meantime, we entertained with tasty samosas and a nice wine.
We hadn't shared a meal with this couple in a long time so it was nice to catch-up with them. Isn't that the important thing? Back in the days of The Beaver, a good housewife wouldn't dream of serving food prepared by anyone but herself and perhaps her mother. What would her husband and the guests think she does all day? Where are the fresh ingredients and the enticing aroma of food cooking in the kitchen to welcome the guests into the house?
I would like to continue in this fashion, doing the occasional meal when I feel less tired or busy the days leading up to the dinner night.
Weigh in on this one. What are your thoughts on entertaining in the 21st century?