Summer only has a few weeks left, so maximize relaxed extended evenings by throwing last minute dinner parties. There can be too much of a good thing during long nights. Guests cannot relax until they get a sense of the shape of the evening, so if you don’t plan on serving dinner until 10:00 p.m. apprise your people before hand. Remember, if you are in the kitchen the entire time your guests will miss you, and more importantly, they lack a leader. You might not think of yourself as a leader, but anytime you have guests, you are! Guests take all their cues from you.
The Deans reserve the rights to change these essential tips at any time.
Planning. The great skill of all leaders. Getting most of the cooking done ahead of time means the meal will be room temperature (perfect for summer.) You will be relaxed with nothing to do at the last minute, so guests will be too.
Delegating. Put someone else in charge of grilling at the last minute. Men feel so manly stoking a blazing fire. Someone else can also be making the drinks. You can't be doing everything. If no one is at hand, buy cool six packs of various micro brews. Beer and summer are a match made in heaven.
Staging. Use all your space, inside and out. Don’t forget industrial fans. We envy our Alaskan and Adirondack friends this time of year. Those party pros are enjoying perfect weather right now. And Bonus time: Alaskans can stay up all night with no artificial light, while the Adirondackers can blaze a fire every night. Lucky South Carolinians have to contend with a wind that blows like a hot fire all day and night.
Learn creative party planning tips and so much more from our book, The Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits: A Handbook of Etiquette with Recipes.