July 29th 2010 02:06 am
Preparing a meal get-together can be great fun with adequate, advanced planning, and a great menu. The tendency for persons to stress when planning one of these events is quite common- not realizing that there is no need to worry. Studies have shown that people, who get invited to parties, assign more importance to the positive emotions experienced when they receive a party invitation. The next important thing to them proves to be the opportunity at having fun, de-stressing, and networking.
Meal get-togethers can be best described as “a no-frill, low-budget gathering of friends, family and acquaintances”. Some examples of occasions for which meal get-togethers are suitable are: birthdays, celebrating new baby, an office promotion, or a house warming. Even when the circumstances are as remote as “when the moon is in the 7th house- and Jupiter aligns with Mars”* party-people will always find excuses to host get-togethers, or much larger parties. However as the date rolls around, many are guilty of rushing around at the last minute, because they fail to plan adequately ahead of time.
There are many ways that preparing a meal get-together can be made interesting. Why not invite your best friends or some of your closest friends over to help you organize the menu, the décor and the entertainment. Getting them involved will empower them to actually take over some of the planning duties, freeing you from some of the responsibilities.
Treat yourself to at least 1 month of TV meals. Doing this would enable you to catch some great meal ideas on The Food Network. Even the day-time talk shows on cable may sometimes include a special meal guide feature on certain days.
As you get it, spend it! Why safe your pennies for a rainy day, when you need them now? Any money that you get now should be the excuse you use to go window shopping and pick up some useful stuff. Invite your friends (aka planning committee) over at least once a week to discuss how all pet projects are progressing. This is also a great opportunity for you to hone your skills as a master party-planner or seasoned party host.
With all pet projects successfully underway, this leaves you unfettered and able to focus on the very critical menu. The dishes that are to be served should be planned at least 1-month ahead of time, giving you the time needed to ensure that the quantity of ingredients necessary would be adequate to prepare enough servings for the party guests. If ordering food from a restaurant, the same rules apply. Also, it is advisable to order enough boxes of meat dishes and sides that seemed to have been popular from the last get-together. If in doubt, it is always best to err on the side of caution, and having over budget the party menu, to ensure that all guests are adequately fed.
The week of the event is not the time to be doing all the cooking. If cooking is to be done, it would be far easier to cook and store the dishes 2-weeks in advance. Finally, a few day before the meal get-together, call all invitees to confirm that they are coming.
• Reference taken from song: “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In”, performed by: The 5th dimension (1969).