Totally Welcomed

Entertaining means to many of us pleasant nights with close friends and family, full glasses and happy bellies, enjoying our lives in the bosom of those we love. Or not. If the idea of hosting people for dinner gives you the shivers, read on.
Text by Ryan Jarrell | May 15, 2018 | Lifestyle

Paroxysms of anxiety include twitching, twittering eyelids and palms that can accurately be described as “sewer-esque.” No, don’t fear, you’re not reading the latest symptoms of an infectious epidemic invading Downtown Miami. This is simply my natural reaction upon hearing my girlfriend wants to have friends over for dinner. If you’re like me, guidance when hosting even the simplest of food-themed fiestas is an absolute must. After some research, I was surprised to learn that something as complicated as cooking for large groups of people has a small number of fairly simple rules. One’s first question is invariably what to cook. In general, allow your expertise in the kitchen dictate the meal served. Prefer your meals microwaveable? Try a breakfast or brunch gathering. Eggs and toast for two is about as complicated as eggs and toast for 10, and a mean mimosa can overshadow most gastronomic glitches. Or perhaps you’re cozier on the stovetop than the most iron of chefs? The trickiest aspect of entertaining is undeniably amount. A good rule is 8 oz. of protein per guest, but presentation can account for a lot. A well-plated slice of roast can seem as expansive as a solid hunk of unenhanced beef. Worried you’re not serving enough? Keep extra noshes like bread, cheese and bowls of nuts around. And remember, you’re supposed to send people home satisfied, not stuffed. My parting piece of advice? I’ll second the notion of the late, great Julia Childs, famed for saying that “a party without a cake…is just a meeting!”