Getting together with friends you haven't seen in a while is such fun! There is so much to catch up on. You feel so comfortable, sharing stories, wine and delicious dishes, you can't help but wonder why we don't do this more often.
We think back and remember gatherings in the past, laughing about mix-ups in arrival times, or when a new dessert recipe didn't turn out right and we had Sara Lee from the market!
It's a time to catch up on children leaving home for college, a new and promising career move, the launch of a new business or a new child or grandchild on the way.
One of the things that I want to focus on is getting together with friends more often. You don't have to plan weeks in advance, or have your house spotless, or plan everything to a "T". Sometimes the best, the most memorable occasions can be those that are impromptu, spur-of-the-moment.
Plan a simple main dish accompanied by a fresh salad. When you invite friends, don't they almost always ask-"what can we bring"? Don't be shy- remind them of that wonderful peach cobbler they once made and how everyone enjoyed it. There are times to entertain when the we want to do it all, making it a real treat for our guests. But there is nothing wrong with asking for help. Often guests feel flattered by a special request. We are all busy with lives going in all directions. Asking a guest to occasionally bring something special to share can be a compliment.
My husband and I enjoy preparing the complete menu for our friends. Then here are times that I want to enjoy friends, but the "big picture" seems daunting for one reason or another. Those are the times to make a few quick phone calls, and suggest a low-key evening... with a little help.
Do you occasionally ask for a little help from your friends when planning a dinner?
Either way, dinner with friends is still one of my favorite ways to spend an evening.