A party is all about entertaining friends and family. Entertaining is an acquired skill and books like the one you are holding in your hands offer help to both seasoned cooks and novices.
Parties are synonymous with fun, but sometimes the host and hostess cannot enjoy their own party because they are worried that something might go wrong! But let me assure you that guests feel uncomfortable if the host or hostess spends the whole evening in the kitchen. So planning is THE secret of a successful party: from the list, to the invitation, to the menu, the setting and décor.
It is important to remember that your guests should be the focus of any event. The main reason for entertaining is to have a happy and spirited gathering of friends and not an overwhelming display of culinary perfection. Another important consideration is the budget. We all have those no-expensesspared occasions that occur in our lives, but those are few; for most of us a party is planned around a budget. It is better to have lots of something seasonal and inexpensive than to serve a meagre platter of something out-of-season and expensive. Putting together a perfect menu is really a balancing act. You have to combine simple dishes with complex ones, dark-coloured foods with light-coloured ones, sharp and strong flavours with something more subtle and gentle on the palate. Also take into account the time taken to prepare each dish. Don’t make every dish complicated and time-consuming or you will get frustrated. Remember there is virtue in simplicity. Don’t plan lots of dishes that need last-minute cooking. After the preparations are done, the kitchen has been wiped clean, the table is sparkling with crockery and matching cutlery, and you are ready with a smile for the first guest to arrive, remember to have a wonderful time at your own party. For if you do, so will your guests. All recipes are meant to serve four people keeping in mind there are other complementary dishes in the meal. So whether it is a small cosy party for a select few or a boisterous bash, go ahead and try out the great recipes which lie within these covers. Then, sit back and enjoy the compliments!