As a true, honest-to-goodness Southerner, I wear the badge proudly and adhere to the entertaining guidelines handed down by my family. We pull out the silver, don’t shy from using the cut glass, and say “try one, y’all” when offering up the recipes that mark our generations. In your 30s, parties usually gravitate toward two opposing theories: family-friendly or couples’ night out. We’re straddling the age of “singledom” meets newlyweds meets burgeoning parents, and as friend groups begin to represent all walks and stages of life, it’s important to host accordingly. And nothing blends the three worlds like a good football game – a highly-anticipated event here in the South. My friends and I like to celebrate by bringing the party (and TV) outside, and serving grab-and-go style food.
Pull out the silver: It may be a tailgate, but you have good silver for a reason. My grandmother gifted my cousins and me with silver goblets for many gift-giving occasions. Celebrations and gatherings are the perfect opportunities to use my goblet collection.
No fuss, no muss: Some of the best family recipes are simple and delicious. My family loves roasting pecans and keeps them around the house during the fall. The recipe is simple – just drizzle butter over a baking sheet of pecans and bake at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes. And when the house is full of male guests, it’s always nice to make sure there’s a dish full of Buffalo Chicken Dip— a crowd pleaser!
His and hers bars: Raise your hand if you find yourself gabbing about weddings and babies in the kitchen while guys gather together, discussing the game. This usually happens until kick-off, and hostesses should embrace the natural parting of party-goers. Creating his and hers bars is not only fun, but allows you to style two bars and try new drink recipes. A general rule of thumb: bourbon-inspired drinks for the guys, and slightly sweeter concoctions for the ladies.
Use your linens: As a Clemson alum, I love my orange linen cocktail napkins, not only for game day, but for an evening cocktail as well! Paper is of course the easiest option, but when gathering with your closest pals, linen napkins are a great alternative. Another great use for linen napkins is creating silverware bundles (linen napkins wrapped around a fork and a knife, and tied off with baker’s twine). It’s a quick way to keep track of cutlery once dinner dishes come out.
Don’t get bogged down in the details: The trick to being the “hostess with the mostess” is enjoying your party as much as your guests. And when you’re using items from around the house, the preparation time should remain minimal. Always be gracious, always replenish glasses and platters, but always be sure to stop and enjoy the moment (especially if it’s a touchdown)!