How to hold the best party this festive season
Hostess with the mostess
There's no place cosier to celebrate Christmas and ring in 2018 than from the comforts of your own home. While it's always a joy to open up your residence to host your favourite people in the world, the process is often one filled with a ton of social conundrums and kitchen nightmares.
But before you go recalling all your WhatsApp invites out of pure anxiety, fret not — Heather Barrie, owner of renowned catering service, Fine Palate, has a few valuable tips for you to achieve top host status this festive season. Amateur at playing host? Stick by these guidelines and you'll do just fine.
1. Choose your company wisely
They might all be your best mates but that doesn't mean they are all best mates. The last thing you want is awkward silences or people getting sidelined. This is your party, so hand-pick the ones you think will go well together.
2. Be smart about your space
You always need more room when there's a party happening. To make a small space appear bigger, stick to simple decorations. Choose items that have solid colours instead of printed ones — this also applies to plates and platters used to serve food. Also, put aside furniture that you don't need to make the party space bigger. Allow as much natural light into the room as much as possible or switch on all the lights.
3. Always remember that you are the host and not the cook
The bottom line is, focus on entertaining your guests and not spending more time in the kitchen. If needed, cater most of your food or get an extra pair of hands to help you out in the kitchen.
4. Keep your menu simple
While you might be tempted to showcase an impressive mix of foods embellished with skillful techniques, don't. It could backfire especially if they don't go well together. What you need is a simple and appealing menu — choose the main course first, followed by dessert, and the entrée. By selecting the entrée last, you can easily supplement any of the ingredients that you feel are lacking in the other two courses. Another important thing? Be aware of any dietary restrictions that some of your guests might have.
5. If all else fails, stick to foolproof recipes or ones that you have attempted before
Need inspiration? Below, try your hand at Heather's babagnosh dip recipe, which pairs perfectly with raw vegetable sticks or hearty crackers. You can proudly declare that you made your own dip, instead of serving a store-bought one.
Heather's Babagnosh Dip: Here's what you need
30ml Lime Juice
3g Black Pepper
10g Greek yogurt
Heather's Babagnosh Dip: How to make it
1. Blend together eggplant, garlic, and lime juice. In a mixing bowl, combine the blended mixture with Greek yogurt, salt and pepper.