The day of hosting a party at your home can be stressful if you let it, but I like to take my time with my preparations and move through the day, doing one chore at a time. I usually start by doing all my cooking and prep in the kitchen, so I don't have to clean it twice. As I move to cleaning, I set up each room, as I go, with flowers and candles; almost like a reward, since that is the fun part of the process. I like to leave myself time to relax and get ready and then do all the last minute jobs, such as lighting candles and opening wine.
My book club friends are the most appreciative guests; complimenting everything. I used lots of candles in the dining room and it lent a cozy atmosphere to the night, encouraging us to linger over dinner. It was a smaller group, but that was nice too, with everyone able to join in the conversation.
Since it was a cold and snowy January night, I served a simple meal of salad, soup and rolls. When hosting, it is best to make recipes used before, so there are no surprises. My friends were very complimentary about the menu - Antipasto Salad (recipe next week), a light and delicious Turkey Meatball Spinach Soup and easy to prepare, Individual Tiramisu for dessert.
Our book discussion was about the first Louise Penny mystery and while I didn't love the book, the discussion was interesting and lively, as they always are. Since the hostess picks the the book to read next, I picked Wild by Cheryl Strayed, perhaps one my favorite books I read last year. I think it will prove to be a wonderful book for discussion. I adore my book club and hosting such a fun group of ladies.
Have a wonderful weekend!