My initial Goodreads review:
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Loved this book. I anticipated more of a how-to manual when I grabbed this off the shelf than the insightful guide that I discovered. It was fun to read, a mix of lighthearted storytelling and clear truths about the goals and potential pitfalls of being a host and a guest at dinner parties.
The practical dinner party update
For Valentine’s day dinner I had my first shot at implementing what I learned in the book. I’ll admit, I overdid the menu, but with the wisdom from the book I had prepped everything so that I spent no less than half an hour in the kitchen away from our guests. That made a huge difference in how much fun (and wine) I had. Our first dinner party guests were good friends, and just one couple, so I didn’t get a chance to try the guidance for greeting guests and doing your host(ess) duty to make everyone comfortable. In truth, I’m likely to lean on Jacob for help with that anyway – he’s a natural at it.
I kept the table decor minimal, per Mr. Mintz’s recommendation, though I did find a way to incorporate napkin rings and silverware sleeves that I’d been gifted nearly a year ago and hadn’t yet used. I followed the suggestion to use unscented candles for ambiance. It was lovely, if a little dark. I think we need more light, so we’ll need to install a dimmer on the ceiling light and try to get a balance going.
I’m looking forward to having more dinner parties – there no doubt they offer a relaxed pace to life that I don’t normally take. Good food, good friends–we’re all alike enough that the debate and arguments that Mr. Mintz referenced in his book didn’t come up…yet. I have to admit, confict-avoider that I am, that the first time I do have a group that gets into spirited discussion I probably won’t know what to do. That’s part of living though, right? Facing the things that scare you so that you grow as a person?