An Entertaining Weekend

An Entertaining Weekend

People sometimes ask me what I do all day.

Last Saturday night, I had a party. It was very successful, and I was pleased. It was a last minute decision and those are often the best!

On Thursday night, when I was on the phone with a friend, I said, “Why don’t you come over here for dinner on Saturday night? Maybe I’ll have another couple of people over.”
My friend said she’d check with her boyfriend, but she thought the answer would be yes. I called a few people and texted a couple of people. I ended up with eight for dinner. I got my son, Robert, to fill in as an extra man, which he usually won’t do. Some of the guests were his age, so he did not feel like the only younger one.

My table was beautiful. My two Dresden china candelabra were perfect on the table with my china by Versace. Lovely, embroidered placemats and napkins adorned with pink floral designs lay on the bare surface of my dining table.

My floral decoration was simply lilies on the table. Adela put them in blue glasses for me. Low, simple arrangements of lilies, some baby’s breath, and that gorgeous blue flower called statice, which will last forever, dried. Mystical, magical, using my Versace plates again because they are fun and turquoise! Place cards were small china ones on which I wrote people’s names with an eyeliner pencil. (After the party, I simply washed off the names so I can use them repeatedly)

The ‘coq au vin’ was delicious and easy to serve. It was relaxing for me, as I was able to prepare it in advance. I used a favorite red wine and plenty of cognac to cook the chicken. The dessert was plain yogurt with raspberries, blueberries and some brown sugar sprinkled on top. That was very successful and so very easy. Everybody had a wonderful time. I know for sure they did because they did not leave till after 11:00 p.m.

They didn’t get into any political arguments because we are pretty much all of the same belief system. It is such fun to be the hostess and hear one’s guests buzzing with conversation. Seeing their animated faces and plentiful smiles warmed my heart. It was really fun! Since the party began at 6:30, they did drink a lot of wine by the time they left, but it was Saturday night. I bet not too many went to church on Sunday. I know I did not.

It’s lovely to have a dinner party. It’s fun to see your friends. It’s important to have something to look forward to. Afterwards, it’s wonderful to have a happy memory of the evening. I recommend that you take pictures. There are quite a few pictures from that dinner party. I’m so glad that I took them. It will help me to plan the next gathering even better.

Of course, I had Adela to help me and she was wonderful. She’s very confident helping with this kind of party. But if she had not been available, I would have done it anyway. Maybe it would have been a bit more work. A successful evening depends on having the right mix of guests and a good meal. Candlelight helps, and a relaxed hostess makes the guests comfortable.

I recommend you try it, too. Even if you order pizza, just get together with some other people. It’s good for you.

The very next night, my son asked me over for dinner with another of my sons and two grandsons. His wife was at a baby shower, but she came in later after we ate.

This is the thing: it was not elegant. It was just us sitting around the kitchen counter. There are bar stools placed there for that reason. Their kitchen is one of the coolest you will ever see. It has a huge gas stove and ovens, built-in appliances, and a refrigerator with glass doors. The large island is topped with a marble slab, and modern light fixtures hang above it. There is a wonderful fireplace on one wall, two comfortable leather wing chairs, and a low table to put your feet up on. There is an alcove for coffee and other special features. And on one side wall, as you enter from the living room, the paint is a “blackboard” texture. Constantly changing messages adorn that space. It is a place where all of the family gathers, drawn by its warmth and comfort. Glass cabinets show off the interesting collection of plates and glassware. Large windows open up to the front of the house with a great view of the driveway. Another window over the sink looks out over a bower of green trees and bushes that enclose that one side of the house.

The dinner my son prepared was delicious. He cooked Chinese food, himself! When they first asked me, I thought he meant to come for Chinese “carry out.” It is amazing to me that he made the food himself. It was stir-fried chicken with peppers, carrots, and pork fried rice. There were also egg rolls which he made himself. It was absolutely delicious. We ate all of that and left a little bit for Andrea, but luckily, she ate something at the baby shower. This just goes to show that getting together with people makes for a fun evening. No matter whether you’ve gone to a lot of trouble, a little trouble, or just get carry-out, it’s the act of getting together with people that is so good for us.

We are herd animals. I keep saying this. Sometimes, that is a bad thing when we all go as a group in the wrong direction. But we humans like to be with others of our kind. We need members of our species. It is good for us, especially if those others have dogs to cuddle while you’re there. I had a wonderful time last night. It was as good a time as I had Saturday night, maybe better, because I didn’t have to cook.

After dinner, we sat out on the terrace to watch the sunset. We all took photos of the splendid clouds and the perfect evening light. My son and his sons played soccer relentlessly amid dogs running after tossed tennis balls, and barn swallows dive-bombing us from above. What a lovely way to finish up the weekend.

Copyright©. 2024 Bonnie B. Matheson

3 thoughts on “An Entertaining Weekend

  1. Dear Bonnie!
    Lovely to read about and “see” your party and son’s dinner party. Just a peek into your delightful country life is uplifting, and I know Noel would be happy to know that you and yours are awash in the joys of social get togethers that work for you. I agree with you. There is little more pleasing in life than family and friends gathering for joyful exchanges over delicious meals!
    I am still in Wintergreen and enjoying some more relaxed life now in (sort of) retirement.


  2. Oh, Bonnie, you do know how to put on a delightful gathering of family and/or friends. Kudos to you for keeping everyone together…..and creating lasting memories ?.

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