Unless we make an effort, we do what we have seen as kids. It’s one reason I took parenting classes, but that’s another story. I did not want to be the kind of host my mother patterned. She was so nervous that things would not be perfect enough that life was a bit intolerable in our house the day of a dinner party.
In my prior marriage with Sam’s daddy, his best way to pitch in was to help clean the house and then take the kiddos out for a couple of hours so I could do the food prep without any “Mommy, I need you” kind of distractions. That worked for us.
With Graham, we split the tasks nicely. We clean first, often to music. The house is straightened and cleaned, altho perhaps not to my mother’s standard. It is clean enough that our guests will not contract any disease or illness eating at our table. He is a pretty darn good cook, so he tends to do the entree and side while I prepare another side and the dessert. Today I am also preparing the appetizer.
The ham is in the oven. The sides (baked tomatoes and a corn strata) and appetizer (baked brie with smoked blueberry jam I canned) are prepped and ready to pop into the oven at the right time. The dessert (strawberry-rhubarb pie with strawberry ice cream) was prepared yesterday.
It is a truly wonderful thing to break bread with friends. Try it sometime. Pizza works just as well as this home-cooked meal. Do not let your concern over your cooking skills keep you from entertaining your friends at home. It is a lovely gift of friendship.