|Last night a friend of mine suggested we have a single's house party, and questioned if we could have it at my small space. Despite the fact that my kitchen is a cut-out in the wall that used to serve as a closet (seriously!), I embraced the idea of entertaining at home because each one of my other single friends was either too embarrassed by their lack of cooking skills, too lazy or simply unsure of how to assemble a tiny pad party. || |
In fact, at the last home celebration I attended the host was a compulsive collector of baseball memorabilia. With more than 60 strangers packed into his small place and no more than a few colored M&Ms out for grabs we were like crabs in a trap, every last one of us itching to flee.
Given the state of our economy and the dynamics of dining out in groups, homemade entertaining can be a refreshing respite, especially if you're single. Socializing in small spaces may just be the trend that follows the gourmet mobile food trucks that have been springing up across the nation, so here are some basic guidelines to help you get prepared:
Space Saving Basics
1. Keep Numbers At Bay: People make a party. But how many should you invite? Ten guests won't fit around a dining table made to seat four, so consider a cocktail party which will encourage a more social atmosphere. The casual style will eliminate the need for formal seating.
2. Stage it Right: Ideally you should try to move heavy pieces of furniture to another room, but if that is not an option you can easily push those pieces of furniture against the wall. And remember it's a party; the fewer chairs there are the better as it encourages people to socialize and mingle.
3. Clear Away Any Clutter: As part of the pre-party preparation, remove or hide personal belongings and knick-knacks.
4. Keep it Light: Bright lights and loud music can be overbearing in small spaces, so make sure to have dimmers and volume on low.
5. Circulate the Cocktails: Pass drinks and appetizers around, so you don't waste valuable counter or table space.
6. Clear and Clean as You Go: It's best to remove and clean dishes as they appear, rather than let them pile up.
Cost Saving Tips
1. Make Your Own Platters: Though they are highly convenient, those pre-made sushi and vegetable platters come at a premium. Vegetable dips and sauces can be made at least two days in advance so you have plenty of time to do the prep work. Cheese platters are also always a crowd-pleasing no brainer. And in the frozen food section of Costco you can find any hors d'oeuvre you need.
2. Hire a Hand: If you need some helpful hands, find a grad student in your building who could use some minimal cash, the extra food or a bottle of leftover booze rather than dole out cash to a high-priced professional server.
3. Think Big, But Serve Small: Left-over food means wasted dollars. Just about any dish can be prepared and doled out in miniatures, which tend to be gobbled up....