It’s that time of year again…it’s summertime. Thank goodness for that, because after this winter in New York I have never wanted the season to come quite as quickly!
During certain parts of the year, I think that there is a tendency for rather random last minute dinner parties and get-togethers to happen frequently. This is especially the case in summer, and I’m not about to complain! With the warmer weather comes the ability to open your living area to include the outside (be it a terrace, a small patio or an entire backyard), to serve fresh, locally grown produce (yum), and to let the hours slip away as Daylight Savings Time is in your favor.
Here are a handful of tips to keep calm and entertain on during the peak entertainment season.
5 Things…to do When Throwing Together a Last-Minute Get-Together
1. Recruit a helper
Of course this isn’t absolutely necessary, but no matter how large or small the last-minute party is going to be I think it’s extremely helpful to recruit at least one person to help out. This person can run to the grocery store while you clean, they can assist with cooking, or even keep an early-comer entertained while you exchange your apron for your LWD (Little White Dress).
2. Keep the drinks & food simple!
I am all for cooking and baking from scratch- there’s just something so fun about being able to say that you made something (let alone having somebody ask you for your secret recipe!)- but if you’re throwing together a last-minute get-together I believe that spending slightly more on pre-cooked or pre-assembled foods like appetizers is totally worth it. Focus on quality over quantity of dishes- and please, don’t forget the dessert!
If you’re in the Hamptons, some options for specialty foods and/or excellent ready-to-eat dishes include: Schmidt’s Market in Southampton, Citarella in Southampton/Bridgehampton/East Hampton, Round Swamp Farm in Bridgehampton/ East Hampton and the Village Gourmet Cheese Shoppe in Southampton.
3. Use an internet radio service like Spotify or Songza to set the perfect mood
What would I do without Spotify? Seriously though, I listen to Spotify nearly every day. I have many tried and true stations that I’ve created myself, but when I need to quickly set the tone there are just so many perfectly curated pre-created stations. A party is just that much more fun when the ambiance is set so hit the play button and…
4. Don’t forget decor!
You’re in a rush, but thankfully it’s summer! Grab a fresh bouquet of flowers from the farmer’s market (or even the grocery store), buy some festive-colored napkins, or even assemble candles around the space you’ll be using. Remember, a little decor can go a long way.
5. Relax & don’t forget to smile
It’s as simple as that.