This weekend we hosted a group of our friends for a pool party. At our house. Because we have a pool now. Go us! Of course, saying it like that makes it seem like we installed the pool and it’s a great accomplishment, but really we bought it with our house. As well as the bricked patio and swing set. Lucky us the previous homeowners were such hard workers and home improvers. Cuz we’re not-so-much. But, yeah. There’s a pool here. And we had a party. And by virtue of the fact our friends came over and went swimming in it, means it was a pool party. I’ve wanted to host one of those since I was a kid. Check one off the bucket list. Oh. Yeah.
The friends we invited over are a part of our Supper Club. Once a month a different person in the group picks a restaurant and then we all get together for food and conversation. This month was my pick and selfishly I decided to make them all drive from Chicago to the ‘burbs (might as well be Canada we’re so far from the city). We ordered take-out from a local restaurant and fun was had by all. But this experience taught me a few lessons in party hosting.
1.) It never looks like too much food when it’s at the bottom of your grocery cart
The party started at 3:00pm and I decided a proper host would provide snacks before the official supper of Supper Club began. This was a good idea, I think. Except I had way too much food. Better too much than not enough, I say. But honestly, when I had the fruit tray, veggie tray, hummus, pita chips, two kinds of salsa, guacamole, tortilla chips and cookies in my grocery cart it didn’t look like nearly as much food as it did sitting on my kitchen table in my Official Party Hosting Trays (you know, those ones you registered to get for your wedding and then only use twice a year). We have LOTS of leftovers.
2.) When in doubt, get more hummus
Maybe it’s just our friends but hummus was the biggest hit of the snack buffet. And of all the things I’m craving today, hummus is what I want. Not guac. Not fruit. Not salsa. Hummus. And there is none left. Frown. (though obviously having a snack everyone loved was a good thing)
3.) Never trust the guy on the phone who takes your pizza order
When you tell him there are 11 adults and 7 very small children and you ask how many pizzas he recommends you order? That little bastard will lie every time. Learn from my mistake. Follow the Rule of Minus One. Whatever he tells you, subtract one full pizza. Then you’ll have exactly enough.
4.) Skip the veggie pizza
Really. Unless you or someone in the group is ACTUALLY a vegetarian, just don’t bother. No one will eat the veggie pizza. Except for you. To prove a point that it was worth ordering. Everyone thinks ordering the veggie is a Good Idea. But it’s a Good Idea like sugar-free ice cream is a Good Idea. You’ll buy that half-gallon of ice cream and it will sit in your freezer, uneaten for all of eternity. Because nobody really likes sugar-free anything. So take my advice. If you MUST order a veggie pizza, order half as much as you think you need. That extra pizza sitting in my fridge right now? The one I should have told Mr. Pizza Liar Man I didn’t want? It’s the veggie.
5.) Clarify your order. Twice.
If there are 11 adults and 7 very small children in your house when you call to make the order, the Pizza Liar Man will have a hard time hearing you. It’s not his fault, so don’t get mad. But just make sure he understands your order. This will ensure you receive the correct salad.
6.) Speaking of Salad…
Along the lines of the veggie pizza…just skip it. Though maybe if it had been the correct one, it might have turned out differently. That and people may have been veggied-out from the veggie tray on the snack buffet (it was actually just as popular as the hummus). But no one ate the salad. Pizza Liar Man is also Salad Liar Man. He will tell you to order two salads, even when one is more than enough.
7.) Just have fun
All that stuff up there? It doesn’t matter one bit! What an awesome day to spend with friends. Yummy snacks. Yummy food. Good drinks. Swimming. And adorable kids running around playing together. Everyone says it but we should really do this more often!