Just a quick light-hearted post today. Mr. FeistyEats and I are making the almost 4 hour drive back to my parents home for Easter weekend. Please, please Mr. FeistyEats drive. I hope!
We are pretty much horrible people because we originally invited Mr. FeistyEats parents over for Easter dinner at our place. Well, due to the flooding and our little kitten having surgery we weren’t able to get back home (Washburn, ND) like we had hoped earlier in April. The husband wants to shoot a turkey so we are making our way back there for Easter. We had to cancel on his parents! To make up, in part, we wanted to host them for dinner on Thursday. No sweat! I love to cook for people.
Now let’s run down the week…Monday: pretty normal day, normal work. Baked cupcakes for work party. Tuesday: early spin class, crazy long meeting at work, crock-pot dinner, frost cupcakes, mop floors and generally clean house in preparation for house guests. Wednesday: early morning Body Pump, trip to Hornbacher’s to get items for dinner guests, more work meetings (drowning in worry and to-do list ever growing), work happy hour at local watering hole Woody’s, eat cupcakes, stay out way too late. Thursday: super busy at work, more meetings, stress at an all time high, work late. So I rush home to a kind of messy house, an electrician working in our basement and in-laws coming over in 1/2 hour. Here are my tips to pull off a nice (not fancy or really well-done) and casual dinner for the in-laws without totally embarrassing yourself.
- Assess the situation.
- Wipe off the table of dust since you and Mr. FeistyEats typically eat in the living room while watching the news.
- Eat at a clean table – don’t make your guests sit in the living room.
- Fill up the empty napkin holder.
- Remove mail items and random pile of coupons.
- Make sure most pet-related messes are taken care of. Pick up any food spills, obvious dog hair, etc. (Doesn’t it look like she has 3 legs here? HA!)
- Vacuum, mop and dust in advance. I always like to do this a day or two before. This way the house looks clean, but not like you tried TOO hard. Which is totally not true because now you have been working on this dinner for 2-3 dang days!
- Meal plan and grocery shop in advance. Make sure you know what they like and make it. Nothing spicy for the husbands father.
- Grocery shop BEFORE work. It is so quiet at the market in the a.m. instead of going after work!
- Put all the pet toys together in one spot. Or throw them in the closet to hide while your dinner guests are over.
- Be sure to take help if it is offered. Order your husband around, it makes him look good in his parents eyes helping out his wife.
- Look like you are really making an effort in making the meal. They will appreciate it even more. Sweat, cry, whatever it takes.
- Use items that come ready for you to use – ain’t no shame in that jar of minced garlic or veggies that are pre-cut for you. They cost a little more, but after you figure in your prep time, it’s not an issue.
- Have your husband make a dish. Again, he looks great in his parents eyes this way!
- Try to keep your horse of a dog out of the way. If you drop something on the floor, call him over to clean it up!
- Pre-set the table.
- Fill the glasses with your guests preferred drink.
- Use napkins – they don’t have to be cloth.
- Set condiments out you think your guests might like to use.
- Use serving dishes – don’t make your guests “dish up” at the stove or out of a pan.
- Our kitchen is small, so I always asks guests to go sit in the living room and watch TV, relax and wait. Unless you need their help though.
- Food should be served HOT! Egg foo young by the hubs and stir fry by myself.
- Serve dessert. Even if it is bought, a few Hershey kisses, etc. Everyone loves a sweet bite after a meal!
If I have more time to make a dinner a little nicer, I would definitely do a few things to ‘up’ the dinner. Appetizers are nice and I’d have a more coordinated dinner set up. Remember, keep the house clean though – that is important!