The Sit-Down-And-Socialize Dinner Challenge
This thread is a fork of the Chinese Dinner thread.
It is a challenge, un defi, for those of us who love to give dinner parties but hardly spend any time at the table, socializing with our dear friends and loved ones, because we are too busy running around the kitchen plating and cooking and serving.
Has a guest ever, while leaving, said "It was sure nice seeing you. We never had a chance to talk. We'll have to get together again soon."
Did you feel proud of the culinary effort but still have a sense like you missed something?
Cue "Cat's In The Cradle" by Harry Chapin (not Cat Stevens!).
Here's what I propose. The next time you put on a dinner party with guests and everything, if you manage to stay SEATED at the dinner table, enjoying yourself and having long meaningful conversations with your guests, for the WHOLE meal from starter to dessert - tell us about it. How did you do it? What was the menu? What's your trick?
Brief absences for calls of nature, or to fetch something needed by a guest, permitted of course.
No fair pressing family members into service or hiring caterers!
Why did I think about this. My dear friend Iain passed away a few years ago. He and his wife were our most regular dinner party guests. They probably dined here fifty times in a decade. Iain would often hang out in the kitchen, we'd drink Scotch as I frantically cooked and temped and plated, so we'd get to talk, a little. But in years of dinner parties in my house, I seldom had a chance to sit by Iain and talk, unhurried, over good wine and food. When Iain became ill, he deteriorated very fast. He was a proud man, didn't want his male friends to see him wasting, and he was dead less than a month later. I never saw him after his diagnosis. I've not really accepted that he is gone. Sometimes I find myself thinking, "I haven't seen Iain in ages, we need to get a drink and talk". Then I regret all those dinners when I thought it was more important to show off in the kitchen than sit with my friend Iain.