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How Does "Sheltering" Affect Entertaining?

By Lynn Wheatley

Give me shelter from the cold winter wind, from the economic times and from stress over things I cannot change. Does any of that sound familiar?

“Sheltering” is showing up in terminology that refers to the pulling back of individuals and families into their homes, nesting if you will. I was contemplating how that affects entertaining.

Yesterday was our monthly ladies brunch/lunch out – just a group of friends who meet monthly to chat, and yes – gossip, break bread together and then go on about our busy lives. But one of our group decided to invite us to her home for lunch instead. So rather than a busy restaurant with strangers all around, we gathered in her cozy and warm home to dine on comforting food.

Nothing says “comfort” to me more than homemade soups and a mashed potato bar with real bacon, butter and cheese. And let’s not forget the mini cupcakes in five flavors. Now that’s what it takes to make the day warmer!

So what if you want to take that type of entertaining to another level – say a wedding reception? I’ve already written about “green” weddings but this is about bringing people together to celebrate an occasion without looking ostentatious in a time of frugality for our entire nation.

Naturally, there are ways to pull this off without seeming stingy and tacky. Emphasize a few elements – go BIG on oversized florals with large leaves, greenery, twigs and a few exquisite blossoms. Pick your favorite color and use it in concentrated areas. And don’t forget the grocery store! Some of our most fun creations have featured fruit and vegetables on the tables – limes in simple rose bowls with a few roses

What gives you comfort? Make a list and then share those elements with your guests – hand out cookies made from your grandmother’s recipes. Serve foods that are your childhood favorites. Donate to your special charity and thank your guests for helping make it possible.

Take shelter – and enjoy!

 

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