“Easy Entertaining,” Hybrid Mom Online

Easy Entertaining By Mary Beth Evans Getting friends together for an intimate gathering of great food, wine and conversation has been one of the highlights of my life. It should be an enjoyable time for everyone, including me (the hostess, chef and cleanup crew) but that wasn’t always the case. In the past I’d bring out the latest issues of my favorite cooking magazines, shop for countless ingredients and proceed to spend the entire day in the kitchen. After hours of sifting, whisking and braising, I was exhausted long before the guests even arrived. A half-hour before party time you could find me frantically stashing mail and papers off the counter into any available drawer and running to the shower at a pace not seen since childhood. And, of course, the house had to be spotless, with everything in its place and not a dust ball in sight. Even the bedrooms had to be straightened on the off-chance someone forgot my directions to the powder room and ventured down the hall. Then, just to keep the madness alive, I would have prepared foods that needed last minute “tending”. Visions of guests lounging by the fire were replaced with everyone hanging out in the kitchen because I could never really leave. I somehow always managed to pull it off, but I realize now it doesn’t have to be so much work. After...

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