Get the sparklers out. Party season has arrived, people! I’m practically exhausted at the thought. Not because I don’t like parties, but because it feels like there’s still so much work to be done before there’s any letting down of hair.
While we all gear up for festive gatherings and feasts, I’m reminded that much of the time we tend to come up with amazing, grand ideas to turn our homes into something that would only get Martha Stewart’s nod of approval.
Yes, of course effort and attention to detail contributes to a lasting impression, but spending too much time fretting over the small stuff just brings on more unnecessary stress. And who wants that when you have friends and family to spend time with?
It’s all about keeping it simple and above all, easy! My family all get together every year for a beach holiday on the Wild Coast and even though it’s taken a few years, I think we’ve mastered the less-is-more approach. Last year we had about 70 people to feed one night and my mom served Angus steak rolls with rocket and a creamy crème fraiche and horseradish dressing. They were a total hit!
Let them snack on nibbles like Spanish style tapas , snoek empanadas or some easy-to-prep smoked mussels and avo toasts. Actually, any seafood is just delicious this time of year! These chilled soups are also fabulous and can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge. I am also a sucker for a good charcuterie platter!
Mains don’t need to be individually plated – and if you are having another family to stay, you’ll love these top 10 oven bakes and casseroles that are great for filling hungry tummies.
Dessert is a doddle with things like Bits of Carey’s fudgy chocolate and Marie Biscuit squares or The Kate Tin’s eye-wateringly beautiful Neapolitan ice cream cake. If you’re too full for dessert, I love the idea of these (adults only!) rooibos, chocolate and salted caramel liqueurs.
As always, don’t let anyone drive themselves home if you think they’ve had too much. Keep a spare blanket handy in case you have some couch surfers for the night!