Most people have had the unfortunate experience. You go to a friend's house for a dinner party, and it turns out to be one of the most torturous events you've been through. It's happened to me. All I will say is that if the hostess had tossed out some easy finger food, disaster could have been avoided.
Expecting the Best
Our friends, who shall remain nameless, are gracious hosts, and known for being quite the foodies of the group. Expectations were high. When their invitation comes, you do not think "I will have to eat a little something before I go". The cooking is always quite expert.
For some reason, though, on this fateful evening, something went amiss. It set off a chain reaction that to this day still sends a shiver up my spine.
Okay, so it was not all that dramatic, but in the moment, it seemed quite disturbing.
I would actually say it was the worst dinner party ever. Not because the menu was undesirable. It was because the 7 o-clock dinner became the midnight dinner.
Upon arrival, a handful of small snack items (nuts) were gobbled up in anticipation that dinner would soon be on the way. Then the drinks began to flow. Conversation was delightful. But there was no kitchen activity.
The Waiting is the Hardest Part
As I watched the minute hands crawl around the clock, I began wishing that our hostess might put out some easy finger food to hold us over. Nothing fancy really, just a few dips, or simple stuffed mushrooms with crushed CheeseSticks on top would have been wonderful. It was not to happen.
More drinks flowed, the conversation became more lively. My head began to spin and my stomach began to growl. Now nearly 10 pm, there was nothing yet baking in the oven or smoking on the grill.
Could they not see the deranged look in my eyes, or hear the roar of my stomach crying out in need?
Preparing for the Worst
I asked if there were any more nuts, or something... anything. I was told dinner was on the way. Conversation continued, though at this point I cannot recall really registering on the details, or even being able to speak. More drinks, but not for me. People were getting loud. My head hurt.
Finally, some very fancy small kitchen appliances made their way from the cupboard to the island, and our hostess began to prepare food.
My kingdom for some food
At this point, with the clock reading about 11:15, I can't recall much of what happened next. I believe my blood sugar levels crashed and I would have been willing to trade my first born for a bite. I sat silently, trying to smile and nod at the conversation. I was light-headed with hunger.
Eventually, I do recall moving to a beautifully set table, and looking at my husband in disbelief. He too, had that eyes-glazed-over ravenous look. Were we really going to eat?
Yes, it was now midnight, and a glorious spread was put before us.
Oddly, I was so hungry, I almost felt I couldn't take a bite. Instinct kicked in, though, and I began to eat. In my hurry, I don't recall really tasting anything.
Word of advice, and I cannot emphasize this enough: make certain that you provide, or are stocked and prepared to provide, some easy finger food for your dinner party guests. There are loads of fantastic recipes you can use that take little time and effort.
There are items that keep well if you don't use them, or are light enough not to spoil your guests appetites. They could prevent your gathering from becoming one of the worst dinner parties ever!