When it comes to entertaining, it is 100% true that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The last thing you need to be doing is scrambling around at the last minute trying to fix everything that’s gone wrong because you rushed it. Straight from Lisa Vanderpump, here is a 5-step mantra to get you through the preparation without a hitch and let you enjoy your fabulous gathering instead of stressing out.
Plan. Plan your menu ahead of time. Write it all down, in the order of how it is going to be served. Make sure it is a balanced menu that will please all of your guests and make sure you have all the necessary ingredients.
Pre-make. Anything that can be made ahead should be. Sauces that can be made the day before should be made and simply re-heated on the day. Many items of food even taste better the next day, so don’t worry about your guests even knowing. Anything you can do in advance to ease up the last-minute preparation will save you a lot of mental anguish 15 minutes before your guests arrive.
Pre-pare. Prepare the garnishes in advance. Parsley, basil and other herbs can be washed and chopped the day before and stored until you are ready to decorate your plates. Draw a little sketch of each course and how you want to prepare your dishes, so at the last minute all you have to do is follow your own instructions.
Pre-prep. Any prep work you can do the day before, should be done the day before. Vegetables that won’t brown can be chopped and stored until ready to use. Measuring and peeling can all be done in advance. Saving yourself even 10 minutes can seriously change your mindset on the day of your event.
Pre-set. Pre-setting the table not only takes the pressure off on the day of your gathering, it also allows you to make sure you have everything on the table that you will need during your meal. Take the time to do this in the morning of or even the day before your event and you will thank yourself when you are scrambling to get everything in order at the last minute.
Adapted from Simply Divine: A Guide to Easy, Elegant and Affordable Entertaining
by Lisa Vanderpump