|Dinner Party at Mandarin's House by Thomas Allom|
We had two married couples and another friend, who was unable to bring his wife. All of them are military, and all of them enjoy some of the same hobbies. We had a seating arrangement designed to get everyone talking to each other rather than simply interacting with only their significant others. I think that really helped. It's also the first time I've actually used the Army Wife Handbook that arrived among Will's household goods.
I must admit that it was not a fancy affair, we didn't even have a table cloth (I can't wait until I have a sewing machine. Table clothes are just like my Italian Napkin, but a lot bigger). We used our rickety dining table, and a folding card table that we set up. The dinnerware and silverware was mismatched, along with the drinking glasses. But everyone seemed to have a good time, which was the important thing.
We also did not just host a dinner party we made it a potluck. We provided the meat - with a good beef roast, and the starches. Will made mashed potatoes, while Robert made a fancy cornbread from a bag mix. Of course I made the desserts. Brownies from scratch and apple crisp from scratch. One pair of guests brought a vegetable tray which provided pre-meal nibbles as well as something healthy with the meal. Another one brought a tray of baked vegetables. These were delicious and the recipe was very simple. The final couple brought along a casserole, which looked delicious. Robert and Will both said it was, and it was gone before the end of the night, but I couldn't have any because of the milk.
The whole group really seemed to enjoy it. After the meal, three of our guests left, while one stayed around to play games. We played "You've Been Sentenced!" with the sci-fi/fantasy card addition. Will didn't want to "inflict and educational game" on our guests, but Rue was the one that picked it. So we played. Robert is getting better at his grammar skills each time we play. After the game, we watched the season premier of The Librarians again, because our guests had not seen it, but raved over the first three movies. They went home wanting to watch the rest of the first season. I really hope they renew that one for a second season.
Shortly after everyone left we crashed for the evening, but I did not feel drained like I usually do after such an event. The drain happens whether I am hosting or attending. We all said that it was a very successful party. Hopefully we can do it again. Perhaps next time with linens?