I love every bit of this short interview with Ina Garten. She is a master - and she validates all my major party planning behaviors. Some favorite parts:
"I take a blank piece of paper," she explained, "and superimpose the recipes on the schedule. I work backwards, starting with the final recipe that has to be finished, then second, then third. Then I can look at the plan and see, 'there’s nothing for me to do before 5:00.'"
A game plan, Ina? Do tell. Of course, while I start with a handwritten list, I end with this:
But only because I already have it set up, which makes it easy to use. She says she sticks to menu items that can be prepared almost entirely in advance, though the best things will need something to happen just before serving.
For those, she recommends things that just need to be stuck in the oven. Smart. I learned, the hard way, that anything requiring too much last-minute assembly is a bad idea. Several close friends who were on hand for the great Thanksgiving Sandwich Debacle of 2013 will certainly agree. (Side note: the sandwiches were delicious. Just way more time consuming than anticipated.)
She says, too, that she loves a round table. Me too, Ina! We're twins!
"Everyone always says, 'you look so relaxed!' But they don't see me in the last 15 minutes, when I say to Jeffrey: 'Don’t talk to me!'
This, I just love. I have often joked that I have to build time in, on party day, for Cooper and I to get in a fight - because he's not doing what I want him to do exactly when I want him to do it. The truth is, I've gotten better about this (and so has he - compromise!). But every party has a few touch and go moments.
This past weekend, it was when I was trying to do something with tablecloths and the bar and I accidentally broke a vase (one I love that my sister gave us for Christmas). Glass everywhere. It was...not my finest fifteen minutes.
Cooper understood. As, I think, would Jeffrey.