Okay, we know you are just the teensiest bit nervous about having people over. Or said more honestly, its been 5 years since anyone has stepped over your threshold and just the thought of it makes you want to hide under your covers and hug your pillow.
Not to worry, we’re here to help. And just like lots of things, baby steps are usually better than taking a huge plunge. So, instead of telling you how to plan a sit down dinner party for 12 we are going to start with planning a party that is something simple and less threatening, coffee with friends. The operative word here is friends.
Remember, the people you invite over are people you like and who like you. They are just looking forward to an opportunity to get together, they’re not out to rate you on how well you stack up to the latest issue of Home and Garden.
So, with that in mind, let’s get started.
1. The first thing is the guest list. Think of a few people you like who you think would enjoy a little morning get together. You don’t need to send them an elaborate invitation, just pick up the phone and call them, or send them an e-mail. You can invite 2 or 3 people or 10, however many you are comfortable with.
2. Next we need to decide what to serve. Since we’re planning on a morning coffee let’s have coffee, and some kind of sweet roll, quick bread, donut or muffin. You can buy these treats at any grocery store, Sam’s Club, Costco or Trader Joe’s. Buy what you like and your guests will probably like it too.
3. You could stop here but let’s give your guests a healthy alternative and serve some fruit. You can serve a bunch of grapes or cut an orange into quarters. If you have a melon of some kind, cut that into cubes or balls.
4. Now for presentation. It is here where you can show that you really cared about this little party and went to some trouble to make it pretty. We’ll start with the coffee.
Make a pot of coffee so you are ready (Or order it from Starbucks, Peets, or Gloria Jeans.) Get cups or mugs ready and put them on a tray or line them up on the counter. Put cream or milk or flavored creamer into a pitcher. NO SERVING THE STUFF RIGHT OUT OF THE CARTON. Put sugar into a sugar bowl and if you are offering packets of low cal sugar, put them into a small bowl.
If people are fixing the coffee on the spot be sure to give them stirrers (try putting them into a small vase) or spoons to stir their coffee.
5. Decide where you will be having your coffee. At the kitchen table? Outside in comfy chairs? In the living room? Where ever it is, make sure the room is picked up and looking its best. Put the plate or platter of your muffins or donuts out and arrange the food prettily on it. NO SERVING THE STUFF OUT OF THE PLASTIC CONTAINER THEY CAME IN FROM THE STORE. Try putting a fresh flower ( from your garden )on your plate, to make it look really special.
6. Don’t forget the fruit. A pretty bowl of grapes or a bowl of cut up fruit will be appreciated by everybody.
7. Serve plates and forks and pretty little napkins and you are set.
Now, hopefully that doesn’t sound hard. You know just what to do and everything can be purchased. You can even get the coffee from a place like Starbucks, Peets or Gloria Jeans if you don’t want to make your own.
You’ve invited your favorite people and you know how to set out your food and condiments. All that is left is for you to sit back and relax. Without ever realizing it you’ve just thrown a lovely little coffee party.