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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Working Mom's Guide to Entertaining

My 20th high school reunion is this weekend. While I've gone from class president to first-class temp, I just learned that my friend, the student body president, was the lead prosecutor in the Martha Stewart trial. He put Martha Stewart in jail and I can barely follow her recipes!

But I'm not the only one who can't live up the standards of the domestic doyenne. My friend, poet (and again poet) and working mom Angela Allyn shares her Real Life entertaining tips:

The ten laws of modern entertaining--things Martha Stewart and RealSimple will never tell you because they have stylists on payroll.

1. Carry out served on good china is suitable for company, any company from your boss to the Queen of England.

2. Carry out served on paper plates makes you a "spontaneous hostess." I like to buy pretty paper plates at the dollar store to "spice it up."

3. She who dies with the most yardage wins. Collect patterned fabric, tablecloths, paisley sheets and schmata wherever you can find them--they cover a multitude of sins. If your fabric is not machine washable, throw it away when you spill on it or dye it to match the stain. You can find these miracles at thrift store, rummage sales, and the dollar bin at Walmart.

4. If one plate is not going to match make sure none of them match. Same with glassware, etc. It's called an "eclectic table setting."

5. If the bathroom, the room you cook in and the room you are going to eat in are clean you can have company over. (This could mean you are having a picnic in the living room because the dining room is full of some project like taxes or your work-at-home job). Only light the pathways to the rooms you want people in. It's okay to disconnect the light bulbs of any rooms to don't want anyone to see.

6. You are allowed to only serve dessert. Or only serve hors d'oevres. Just make sure your guests know beforehand so they don't eat your centerpieces from hunger.

7. If the house is a total disaster and its above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, you are allowed to serve an "al fresco" meal. If it is below 60 degrees, though, I would burn something. Bonfires are "quaint."

8. If the house is a total disaster, turn off all the lights and only use candles. Claim a power failure and call it "atmosphere."

9. If you are not going to have time to change between meal preparation and the guests' arrival, wear all black to cook in, and add a dashing accessory when the doorbell rings. Scarves are not a good choice unless you find one that does not show stains. I am partial to metal myself.

10. Don't do it if you can't have fun. Life is too short.

posted by Kim Moldofsky @ 8:41 AM  

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