“A party without cake is just a meeting.” –Julia Child
Julia Child is the verified queen of food, fun, and frivolity. All those good, clean f-words perfectly describe a quality holiday party. And since we love food and fun, too, we like Julia’s style, and thought we’d share some sage advice from the culinary maven for your holiday hosting.
“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”
-By all means, investigate the dietary restrictions of your guests, but for the love of butter, please don’t serve low fat or sugar free at a party. This is a time to celebrate and splurge, which means calories, too! So cream it, salt it, and sprinkle it with heavenly sugar.
“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
-It’s fun to try something new! Take risks in the kitchen and delight your guests with a dish or a seasoning they (or you) may not have tried before. (like Hawaiian Islands Trading Co’s Sea Salts!)
“Always start out with a larger pot than what you think you need.”
-The key to a great party is great prep! Plan the details ahead of time, and start prepping your food and drink a day or two in advance so you have the time and head space to set the festive atmosphere with ease on the day of your party.
Consider the Guest List
“Remember, ‘No one’s more important than people’!” In other words, friendship is the most important thing—not career or housework, or one’s fatigue—and it needs to be tended and nurtured.”
-When it comes down to it, the people make the party. Tend to your guests. Plan ahead so you can greet each one. When the meal is done, save the dishes for later so you can enjoy and engage in the party.
“I don’t believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make. When one’s hostess starts in with self-deprecations such as “Oh, I don’t know how to cook…,” or “Poor little me…,” or “This may taste awful…,” it is so dreadful to have to reassure her that everything is delicious and fine, whether it is or not.”
-We love how Julia points out the dreadfulness of chef self-deprecation. Don’t force your guests to spend their time reassuring you – that’s a big distraction from what everyone should be doing – having a good time. Your guests show up because they want to celebrate with you. Own your party, own your fabulousness, own your creative genius in the kitchen, own your fun!
Go with the Flow
“If you drop the lamb, just pick it up. Who’s going to know?”
-Don’t sweat the small stuff! It seems inevitable that when we plan for perfection, hitches and holdups ensue. When the caramel’s burnt, the soufflé deflates, Uncle Jerry arrives an hour early, and someone spills the jar of cookie sprinkles on the kitchen floor, take a few deep breaths and do as Julia would do – just pick it up, and get your party on!