LIFESTYLEHow to be the hostess with the mostest? (self.RedPillWomen)

submitted by curious__kitty

My BF’s birthday is next weekend and he asked me to throw a grill party for the family (4-6) people. Naturally I said yes and am looking forward to making it a wonderful birthday. We have had them over before and it went really well, still I’m always looking to improve.

Many of you lovely ladies are excellent hostesses. I want to be the best one possible too. What are some of your tips and tricks to be an incredible hostess?

[–]thinkingfemale 47 points48 points  (9 children)

I have hosted a few dinner parties and have been told that I am an excellent hostess. Here are some tips, some which are mine others that I have from an early 1900's etiquette book that has proven itself timeless.

  1. Remember that you do not host dinner parties to enjoy yourself. You host it so that others may invite you another time. That means putting yourself last.

  2. That means accepting that you won't be sitting down and relaxing for too long. All the points are won when you put out new drinks before people ask for them, the post-supper coffee before people ask about it, etc.

  3. When you're not it the kitchen, try to steer the conversation away from a topic if you can see that it excludes other people at the table. Bring up topics that you know can give different people a chance to speak.

[–]HonkyCat84 9 points10 points  (2 children)

This is great! Is your etiquette book Emily Post? I want to get more into entertaining, so I’m looking for a few resources to get started.

[–]thinkingfemale 19 points20 points  (1 child)

No, it is an older lady called Emma Gad, but I believe she is not translated into English. But I have just rediscovered her, and I might start sharing her wisdom. She talks about how to act in all kinds of social situations.

[–]HonkyCat84 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Please do!

[–]curious__kitty[S] 2 points3 points  (5 children)

This is wonderful information- thank you so much! Is the original language of the Emma Gad book you mentioned Danish?

[–]thinkingfemale 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Yes, did you look her up?

[–]curious__kitty[S] 5 points6 points  (3 children)

Yes and it sounds really interesting- looking forward to reading it. I’m going to try to get my hands on a copy. Living in Scandinavia, hopefully it will not be too difficult...

Thank you so much! This is going to be the first time learning to speak Danish will come in handy in everyday life. What a wonderful bonus!

Du milde Moses, hvor er dansk så fint :D

[–]thinkingfemale 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Haha, er du svensker eller nordmand?

[–][deleted]  (1 child)


    [–]thinkingfemale 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Jeg er imponeret!

    Yes, that’s the one! Enjoy a glimmer of 1915-ish Danish high society. But it’s just as much life advice at it is about etiquette. It is all just common sense, but she can word it with such precision and humor, that you will never forget it.

    [–]ragnarockette4 Stars 28 points29 points  (1 child)

    • Ask about food allergies. I almost killed my pregnant friend last BBQ because I didn’t know she had a nut allergy!

    • Have more than enough food. You never want a serving dish or plate to look empty, because then people will worry about taking the last of something. Plus, bonus leftovers!

    • Have water, napkins, extra silverware readily accessible to all. Tell people where the bathroom is and set out extra toilet paper/make sure there’s enough soap. Have a Tide pen and club soda easily accessible. You’ll be busy cooking and this will cut back on people asking “may I have a glass of water?” and “where is the bathroom?”

    • Plan out your timing, courses, and serving dishes beforehand. I use post-it’s. Of course you are still going to be busy, but this will help you be organized and efficient.

    • Choose 1 or 2 show-stopping or slightly unconventional recipes. I have done a pomegranate cheesecake, ribs with homemade BBQ sauce, from scratch soft pretzels. Have at least one food item that will really wow people.

    • Nice beer and wine. Don’t serve people a bunch of 2-buck-Chuck.

    • Walk people to the door, thank them for coming, and allude to future plans. Parties are about deepening relationships so use this opportunity to plant the seed for the next time you’ll see them.

    [–]curious__kitty[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    Excellent tips! The tips about the end are great because it’s so important and all about deepening relationships.

    [–]loneliness-incEndorsed Contributor 12 points13 points  (4 children)

    A grill party has similarities to a dinner party and has differences from it.

    Some similarities.

    • Prepare in advance everything that can be prepared in advance.

    • Be organized. Have a plan with a timeline of what gets served when. Start to finish.

    • OTOH, a timeline is not a strict schedule. Be flexible.

    • The job of the host is to make everyone feel welcome, comfortable and entertained. Mingling is highly important.

    • Prepare enough food but not too much. You want some leftovers, but not a lot of leftovers.

    • Serve the carbs first and the proteins second. Within protein, serve the lighter protein first (such as chicken) and the heavier protein second (such as beef).

    • Don't forget to make some sides such as salad, potato salad, pasta salad, coleslaw etc. Don't do too many sides.

    • Be friendly, pleasant and cheerful.

    Some differences.

    • Dinners are more formal, grills are more casual.

    • Wine tends to be better for dinners, beer for grills.

    • Keep the mood and banter light.

    • The grilling process is bonding time for the men. In a small crowd like yours, it can be bonding time for all.

    [–]KittenLoves_Endorsed Contributor 7 points8 points  (3 children)

    This is a very good point. OP should also be looking at whether she wants this to be more informal, backyard barbecue type thing, where people will be eating outside, drinking beers, etc; or slightly more formal, where the food will be cooked outside (maybe with some snacks and beers outdoors as this is happening), but the actual dinner will take place inside. An outdoor meal can involve standing around and eating, for example. An indoor meal may need, as other people said, specific place settings, seating arrangements, etc.

    [–]curious__kitty[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

    Great points! I haven’t asked le Capitaine about that yet and will find out :)

    [–]KittenLoves_Endorsed Contributor 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    I just want to add a few things, because my boyfriend and I host a lot of grill parties in spring and summer:

    If you want a sit-down meal indoors, one of the easiest things to do if you have only a handful of people attending (as is your case), is to make steaks and/or sausages -- this way there's not a lot of fuss about hamburger toppings, and the meal seems a bit fancier if you're having steaks. ;) You'll obviously need some vegetables, and I find it's easy to pick a handful of good-on-the-grill ones, marinate them, and make skewers. They'll cook relatively quickly and be very flavourful! (I like to do eggplant, zucchini, pepper, and mushroom.) Then all you'll need besides that is a salad, and perhaps some bread and cheese, or fruit, to finish the meal. (Of course having some appetizers set out beforehand -- like chips and dip, is ideal.)

    If you want to go the outside route, hamburgers, hotdogs, and sausages are the easiest. You can have a table set up with all possible toppings someone would like to put on their food (ideally under those little mosquito nets), some salad(s), and plastic cutlery. Vegetables skewers will be harder to manoever outside if you're intending it to be a more "eating and standing" thing, so a few different salad options is preferable.

    Whichever way you decide to go, you can also make potatoes. This can be prepared ahead of time and is utterly delightful. Peel a potato and cut it in half (lengthwise). Put a couple slices of camembert or other cheese in the middle, drizzle with some olive oil and salt, and put a sprig of dried thyme, or rosemary, or oregano on top (fresh is likely to burn). Wrap it in aluminum foil, and cook them on the grill (or ideally in the cooler coals, if possible) for about half an hour. Everyone can get their own cheesy potato (and make a few extra, just in case!)

    Best of luck! Grill parties are a lot of fun. :)

    [–]brussels08 8 points9 points  (6 children)

    So if you are having an event and have already decided on the meal, and someone uninvited (a picky eater) shows up and wants something other than what you already spent time making...should the hostess cater to that. I find it incredibly rude to expect and ask for something special when you weren't even invited, but I'm not really sure. Maybe catering to that would be going above and beyond to be a good hostess?

    [–]OhIMeMine 8 points9 points  (4 children)

    Has this happened to you before? This person sounds extremely rude. I eat food I don't even if I don't like it if it's served to me by a host. I'm not allergic to anything, so as far as I'm concerned, it would be rude and I would be embarrassed to turn my nose up at anything offered to me.

    If I was hosting and someone uninvited asked for something different I might offer them cereal, but I sure as hell wouldn't cook them something different. If they were invited and then requested something different than what I had prepared (without a really good excuse) that would probably be their last invite.

    [–]brussels08 5 points6 points  (3 children)

    It has definitely happened to me, and this person is always an extra no one expects to show up. Also happens to be a non meat eater...well no one I invite other than this person is...and I hate salad, so veggie only meals aren't usually on the menu. Like this person actually asked if I had made something special and different. It just seemed really rude to assume they who were not invited would get something special compared to everyone else. I've also considered saying no extras when I invite people, but maybe that's too much. I don't want to be a jerk.

    [–]OhIMeMine 2 points3 points  (1 child)

    Um, no. You shouldn't HAVE to say "no extras." It's generally considered common courtesy to ask before bringing someone uninvited to someone else's house. I don't even bring my boyfriend without clearing it with the host first.

    [–]brussels08 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    My sister and I were talking about it yesterday, and I just can't figure how people assume extras are a given. I'm not the most social of people so it bothers me to the core. I was legitimately starting to think that maybe I was wrong for feel that way. Liking and wanting you around doesn't me I want your friends or SO's around.

    [–]teaandtalk4 Stars 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    You shouldn't have to say 'no extras', I'd be having words with the person bringing uninvited guests! Unless this is common within your friendship group, outside of these people?

    [–]Ok_Philosopher 7 points8 points  (0 children)

    I'm a "picky eater" (vegan) and the etiquette by which I prescribe is this:

    1) I never assume there will be vegan stuff available.

    2) If it's a long day and I know I'm going to get hungry, I bring a vegan dish. I thank the host for having me and say I just wanted to contribute a little something to the big day.

    3) I eat beforehand if in doubt.

    Most people with similar diets/restrictions play by the above rules. So no, hostesses are not expected to cater to a single person's diet... for large gatherings, anyway.

    If it's a small group of about 5 and it's a sit-down meal with courses, then I'd say having an option for them is the nice thing to do (though the guest should abide by step 2). Otherwise, it puts the person on the spot too easily about why they're turning down all of the dishes, and can make them uncomfortable.

    [–]Lilviscious 6 points7 points  (2 children)

    Lovely that you are willing to host the dinner party. When I'm a hostess I inform which foods to avoid in case of allergies/preferences, and actually have a seating arrangement. It might sound silly to some, but it helps you set the table and certain foods/drinks more efficiently, and it makes for interesting opportunities to mix the people around and have them seated next to those they normally wouldn't converse with often.

    [–]curious__kitty[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

    Those are very clever ideas. Will definitely keep setting the table efficiently in mind :)

    [–]Lilviscious 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Good luck! Would love to hear how it went afterwards!

    [–]WonderfulandValuable 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    • best tip for those of different persuasions: offer lots of vegetables including corn and tomatoes! Potatoes with rosemary are delicious and easy to do.

    • be prepared to have the women at the table and the men around the grill

    • chose a day without Football plays - at least no important ones or set up the TV so the men can indulge.....

    [–]aussiedollface 2 points3 points  (0 children)

    I agree with all other posters here! I love entertaining. Adequate food and drinks, a nice tidy house, a considered guest list, and social graces are important. Entertaining can be hard! You need to put your guests needs before your own xo

    [–]yungshmoneygal 2 points3 points  (2 children)

    Do you ladies have any tips on how to keep all your food hot, especially if you're doing something with multiple courses? I've been getting more and more ambitious with my dinner parties and I thought I made a pretty exciting 4-course dinner that overall was pretty successful. The only thing that I didn't plan for was my steak going cold because I didn't know if I could risk reheating hit in case it becomes well-done. Any suggestions in situations like this?

    [–]wherethew1ldth1ngsr 0 points1 point  (1 child)

    Once things are cooked you can put them in an oven on the lowest possible setting covered in foil.. OR put them on a platter covered with a foil and then lots of teatowels to keep the heat in :)

    [–]yungshmoneygal 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Hey thank you so much! I'll definitely do this next time I host!

    [–]wherethew1ldth1ngsr 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    1. area near entrance for bags/shoes/jackets
    2. fresh relishes (sweetcorn and chilli, homemade salsa etc.)
    3. craft beer bar (you could make one?)
    4. puddings/birthday cake! Often neglected but important! and good music, fun decorations/straws etc. and try to create a loop, so that people can circulate from room to room and don't all gather in one place. Have fun!

    [–]grassfed-stoic 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    Definitely get Emily posts updated guide if you’ve not already! Have you considered a mild theme nothing too obvious but have a look at this site!