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Old 06-08-2008, 11:15 AM   #1
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Host or Guest

Do you find yourself more often one or the other? What is your group's entertaining style (potluck, or one person does it all and take turns?). What hints do you have for being the perfect host or perfect guest?

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Old 06-08-2008, 11:21 AM   #2
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I used to entertain a lot in the summer when we would have the pool open. I did all the cooking , usually BBQ and salads. To me , the perfect hostess would be someone who makes sure everyone is taken care of , food wise or anything that is needed for the pool, towels etc. Perfect Guest I would say clean up after themselves, paper plates in the garbage, etc. I don't entertain anymore, because hubby has not opened the pool in 5 yrs.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:42 PM   #3
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Oh, LC - you sound a little wistful about it. I'm sorry - do you you miss entertaining? I know I would. My parents loved to have friends over for informal dinners, and my sister and I are the same. DH and I have people over often, and folks here seem to reciprocate pretty quickly, so we get invited to others' as well. Next Sunday, I have 20 people coming to dinner to meet my son/DIL/grandkids who will be visiting from China. Only problem - we are now in our rainy season, and may have to move the whole party inside. Yikes.
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:54 PM   #4
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Hmmm? Host or guest? When Buck and I lived in Washington, D.C., hosting a party/event was a big deal.

I remember a surprise birthday party I had for him with a Mexi theme.

Shrimp-stuffed red snapper, quesadillas. sopapillas, sangria, multi-flavored rice, homemade refried beans, etc. There was much more I can't remember. Been a while. Appropriate taped music throughout the evening.

Cooked for days. Stored food in friends' refrigerators. Hid things in places that didn't have places.

My intention was for everyone to have a good time. In the end, folks are still talking about the party.

When I have a party I like to make a everyone feel at home and that we are all "visiting" with each other. No chores. Just eat, talk and have a good time.

For me, clean up is my job if it's my party. Although, I do have trash "stations" for guests to dispose of their dirty plates, etc.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:02 PM   #5
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Oh, LC - you sound a little wistful about it. I'm sorry - do you you miss entertaining? I know I would. My parents loved to have friends over for informal dinners, and my sister and I are the same. DH and I have people over often, and folks here seem to reciprocate pretty quickly, so we get invited to others' as well. Next Sunday, I have 20 people coming to dinner to meet my son/DIL/grandkids who will be visiting from China. Only problem - we are now in our rainy season, and may have to move the whole party inside. Yikes.
Karen, I do miss it sometimes . I can't even have company inside the house, too much stuff , no space, from hubby's late brother's house. hubby too cheap to rent storage space to put it in.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:26 PM   #6
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Karen, I do miss it sometimes . I can't even have company inside the house, too much stuff , no space, from hubby's late brother's house. hubby too cheap to rent storage space to put it in.
lady, why are u still there? doesn't sound like a pleasant way to live. is he senile or just mean?

i would rent a space and have it hauled away. it is your home too.

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Old 06-08-2008, 09:30 PM   #7
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i am almost always the host. family will take me out for a special meal. they say i am such a good cook, that they would be em brassed to cook for me.

i like small groups best, no tv is on, i want interaction with my guests. i do clean up myself.

i do enjoy the big dinners at the holidays . i am however getting to old to do all that cooking for twelve or fifteen people. i serve buffet style for the larger groups. family style for smaller ones.

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Old 06-08-2008, 11:17 PM   #8
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It is pretty much just us, so neither host nor guest. Occasionally we have the Pastor and his family over, but no one else ever excepts our invites, no family in the area, and lost most of our friends when we moved from the northside to the southside here.
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Old 06-09-2008, 03:12 AM   #9
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I, too, am more often the host, which is what prompted this line. When I lived near my family, it became a chore. THat was sad, because I've always enjoyed it. I'm a big believer in casual when it comes to more than 6, maybe 8.
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Old 06-09-2008, 05:57 AM   #10
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I am most often the host. I do have a few friends that enjoy cooking and do host dinners. One family member of mine occasionally hosts but it usually requires the rest of us to bring most parts of the meal/drink.
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:01 AM   #11
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I am most often the host. I do have a few friends that enjoy cooking and do host dinners. One family member of mine occasionally hosts but it usually requires the rest of us to bring most parts of the meal/drink.
Being the host/hostess does not necessarily mean supplying all the food, drinks, etc. My brother and his wife host many of our family events as well as other social functions because they have a large home conducive to entertaining, and they also have horses which many guests enjoy riding. They frequently host large parties where everyone brings a dish to compliment the theme of the meal, and nobody complains that everything was not made by the host family. Actually, we find that each family member and social member have certain specialty contributions that everyone loves, and that few others of us ever make, like Aunt Char's Pretzel Jello and my DW's "Company Beans" (Green Bean Casserole). Everyone contributes to the food as well as the cleanup, with my twin brother and me standing in front of the sink doing dishes until they are all done. Everyone goes home with a clean dish.

Impromptu gatherings in our neighborhood often occur at our neighbor's home because they have a great deck, patio and fire pit to enjoy late into the evening. Again, the covered dishes come from every direction, and cleanup is always a joint effort which lessens the overall impact.

Lastly, many of our favorite recipes have come from "covered dish" parties, where we had the dish for the first time. Sharing recipes is also part of the fun of these gatherings. Being the Host/Hostess does not mean you have to shoulder all the responsibility, unless that's what you WANT to do or what you HAVE to do.

Personally, I feel awkward when I go to a dinner or other party where we cannot make a contribution, even if it's a bottle of wine or other beverage. Usually the shirts are so stuffed at those events that we don't stay very long anyway, if you know what I mean. We're ordinary folks and don't try to impress anyone with anything other than our friendship.

Joe
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:50 AM   #12
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Our circle of friends does the same, Joe. Next week, when I have 20 people over for dinner, I won't be preparing all the food. Our guests will all bring something, e.g., everyone expects our friend Mary Lou to bring her wonderful broccoli salad and Sue will bring her famous corn dish. We have a nice big shaded back patio, where it is convenient for everyone to get together. I usually do the main dish and dessert - pulled pork next week, and I haven't decided on dessert. I think assorted home baked cookies.
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:59 AM   #13
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I LOVE to have people over!
Usually we do potluck, unless I'm in a mood and I have a few extra bucks, then I like to do it all myself.
I got to at Easter, but I ended up disappointent because only my MIL and FIL showed up, he was out in our garage mostly and she fell asleep most of the day. It made me feel like they were only here because they had to be, and made me second guess my entertaining abilities. I don't know if I will offer up so much anymore. Doesn't take much to knock the self-worth out of myself, and that really did it.
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:48 AM   #14
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Guest that likes to help the host!!!!
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:18 AM   #15
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It is pretty much just us, so neither host nor guest. Occasionally we have the Pastor and his family over, but no one else ever excepts our invites, no family in the area, and lost most of our friends when we moved from the northside to the southside here.
That's too bad, Buddy. Cicero isn't the end of the world!

I'm more often the host. I love having people over, and besides, it helps me keep the house a little neater.
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Old 06-09-2008, 03:50 PM   #16
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besides, it helps me keep the house a little neater.
Oh isn't that the truth, June! The best incentive for keeping the house clean is to have frequent company. Sometimes I plan a party just so I can get DH to tidy up the yard and patios...LOL.
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:06 PM   #17
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Being the host/hostess does not necessarily mean supplying all the food, drinks, etc. My brother and his wife host many of our family events as well as other social functions because they have a large home conducive to entertaining, and they also have horses which many guests enjoy riding. They frequently host large parties where everyone brings a dish to compliment the theme of the meal, and nobody complains that everything was not made by the host family. Actually, we find that each family member and social member have certain specialty contributions that everyone loves, and that few others of us ever make, like Aunt Char's Pretzel Jello and my DW's "Company Beans" (Green Bean Casserole). Everyone contributes to the food as well as the cleanup, with my twin brother and me standing in front of the sink doing dishes until they are all done. Everyone goes home with a clean dish.

Impromptu gatherings in our neighborhood often occur at our neighbor's home because they have a great deck, patio and fire pit to enjoy late into the evening. Again, the covered dishes come from every direction, and cleanup is always a joint effort which lessens the overall impact.

Lastly, many of our favorite recipes have come from "covered dish" parties, where we had the dish for the first time. Sharing recipes is also part of the fun of these gatherings. Being the Host/Hostess does not mean you have to shoulder all the responsibility, unless that's what you WANT to do or what you HAVE to do.

Personally, I feel awkward when I go to a dinner or other party where we cannot make a contribution, even if it's a bottle of wine or other beverage. Usually the shirts are so stuffed at those events that we don't stay very long anyway, if you know what I mean. We're ordinary folks and don't try to impress anyone with anything other than our friendship.

Joe
That is not what I was talking about. Didn't say I don't want to contribute to the host/hostess. I never arrive empty handed. Nor am I talking about potluck/cover dish type gatherings. I was simply sharing something about a family member who when it is her turn expects guests to bring everything while when she is the guest contributes nothing. Don't be so quick to correct me.
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:40 PM   #18
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I'm almost always the host, which I generally prefer. I have lots of kids and so it's less stressful for me to have people here than to take my whole gang and worry about my youngest spilling, etc. Even though I am not a good cook, people seem to love to come here for dinner because kids and elderly parents are always welcome and I tend to make lots of simple dishes and serve buffet style. There is always lively conversation and lots of laughter which makes up for the unsophisticated menus.

There is always a crowd here for Thanksgiving since everyone knows there is always plenty of food and an extra plate for anyone who shows up. It tends to be the best holiday of the year for all of us because we never know who will show up, often people we haven't seen in a long time. (There's usually 1 or 2 of my eldest daughter's old boyfriends, as well as friends from all the kids' younger years. Sometimes the mix is very interesting. One year, we even had one of my boys' good friends from childhood show up and surprise all of us that he was now a she!)
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Old 06-09-2008, 07:28 PM   #19
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That is not what I was talking about. Didn't say I don't want to contribute to the host/hostess. I never arrive empty handed. Nor am I talking about potluck/cover dish type gatherings. I was simply sharing something about a family member who when it is her turn expects guests to bring everything while when she is the guest contributes nothing. Don't be so quick to correct me.
Mea culpa, mea culpa. I was not intending to correct you, and apologize if you took it that way. I was merely sharing how our family works.

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Old 06-09-2008, 08:17 PM   #20
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Fisher's Mom - I find it hard to believe that you are not a good cook! Of course you are....all of us are better cooks for having been here at DC, and with your generous spirit, you could not help but be a good cook.
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