Nothing stays to precisely to plan. What a lovely world I would have if it did. As the party approaches tomorrow I am reminded that flexibility will save a hostess when a lot of preparation and careful planning did not. I might have a list of complaints but instead I am pleased to mention that we overcame things which might have crippled another hostess with 24 hours to go (the menu appears here):
1. The rosemary sprigs available from two sources were either too wide or too soft and greenstick to make good skewers for both my marinated provolone and salami. Which was moot anyhow because the provolone was to crumbly to fuss with.
Solution: Salami stays on rosemary skewers in a variety of girths and the provolone goes on festive toothpicks.
2. The tablecloth I wanted was in the attic. I am very pregnant and my husband is deployed. the bottom staircaise step is broken and no one has been around all night. I cannot chance that I would fall and hurt myself leaving no one to care for my tiny girl nor hurt the child on the way. Therefore, I drafted a beautiful blanket we have long loved and decided I was glad for the change.
3. All of the tenderloin turned out rare regardless of what the meat thermometer read. One had to go back in and then be wrapped tightly in foil to come up to medium. That was after I maligned Stew Leonard's about the amount of fat still on the thing.
4. I wish the red velvet cupcakes were a little more moist because that is always the problem with red velvet cakes. I used another bloggers recipe which she raved about but should have used the non-traditional one I developed in the spring. It avoids this issue and others. I need to trust my gut implicitly.
5. The rentals arrived and I was disappointed with the wine cooler: I picked hammered steel and received an inexpensive and aesthetically lacking item instead. I have to remember always to check the cases before they leave the vendor. As luck would have it, our vendor here is top notch and they will switch it out tomorrow. Secondly, the coffee samovar silver plate is chipped in several places which is not great when you pay for the beautiful coffee dispenser and get something busted up anyway. Such is the nature of rentals, I suppose...
6. No matter what, guests will do things that make being the hostess harder. I can and will write volumes on this at Blushing Hostess Entertains but here is a tip to be sure you are always invited back: When you get the invite, respond promptly.
The day before or of the party, the food and set ups have been delivered or the caterer has already received a count. The booze has already been brought in. For the most part all the work has been done. And as you know, there is nothing the hostess detests more than waste (dirty, dirty word). Unless there is a sickness or the like, the last minute call out or not turning up at all are both not good.
I know a hostess who makes an excellent beef wellington and another excellent point: Those who call and say they may or may not "stop by" are the worst sort of guest. The point of being invited is not to keep all of ones' options open. One either is a guest or not, but not both. She is relentless in pinning people down and I would do the same if I had the nerve.
Catch you tomorrow.