Jane Austin saved my dinner party!

Last night my husband and I threw a dinner party for ten. Four times a year we get together with his old fotball (soccer) buddies and their wives for an evening of good food, fine wine and lots of reminiscing. I’m not kidding either, these guys can remember exactly who scored what goal at which game, way back in the 1970’s and 80’s!

Last night it was our turn to host. We got up early, I headed straight for the kitchen and my husband out for a bike ride, (he’s training for a race). For me a dinner party starts weeks before, as I pour over recipes and table setting ideas. Choose which wine to serve, order flowers, iron table clothes, clean the house and decide what to wear.

I always try to choose a meal I can make in advance, this way I avoid the stress of cooking while guests are already sitting in my living room. I found a recipe for Prince William’s favorite Cottage Pie in the wedding issue of People Magazine last year and figured if it was good enough for William, it would be good enough for us. Just to be sure, I gave it a trial run (very tasty). For color, I’d make a big salad with every different veggie I could find (I hate boring salads). For desert, I decided to make an apple & blueberry custard pie and serve it warm with vanilla ice cream.

I doubled all the recipes and stood cooking, chopping and baking from morning until late afternoon. Cleaned up the kitchen, set the table and got myself ready. The whole time in good company, as Mia and Khloe (my furry companions) sat by my side – waiting for something to drop. Meanwhile my husband finally got home from his ride and was quickly punished for being gone all day – with a list of things to do before our guests arrived.

One hour until count down we locked the dogs in our bedroom, so I could run the vacuum one last time. Heaven forbid someone find a dog hair, at a dinner party. Mia and Khloe are not used to being locked away, and took this very personally. They cried, barked and scratched to get out. I gave them treats, talked to them and even yelled at them to stop, which is something I never do. As my guests were coming in I could still hear them, I had to think quick or they would ruin everything!

Then I remembered… Whenever I don’t feel good and need quiet time, I’ll pop a Jane Austin film in the DVD player and lie on the sofa all day. The dogs seem to understand this and will always lie quietly next to me. I made a quick dash to the bedroom, chose Pride and Prejudice (its a long one) put it on and hoped for the best.

Sure enough, Jane Austin to the rescue! I’m pretty certain she could tame the wild beast in anyone, Khloe and Mia were as good as gold. The food was delicious, we talked about goals, injuries and penalty kicks, everyone had a great time and in reward for being good, the girls were later allowed to join the party.

That is after their film was finished, of course.

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About maggiemyklebust

I grew up on the Jersey Shore and now live in Norway. I have also lived in Houston and the Netherlands. I have written a memoir called Fly Away Home.

Posted on May 13, 2012, in girly talk and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Yum, wish I was a guest at that party! I’m sure that your guests had a scrumptious and delightful time, and I hope that you did, too, Maggie. The dvd of “Emma” is one of my favorite escapist flicks, just makes me smile. : ) I hope that you had a happy and restful day today, after yesterday’s busy-ness. ~ Lily

  2. That’s pretty funny Margaret, you trained them well!!!!!

  3. So funny! This is a stitch.

  4. Yes, we know the REAL trainers here. I only serve one dog at present, but 12 cats, and 8 horses. They let me know if i haven’t performed my duties well.

    • Wow Jon, thats a lot of animals.
      I have my hands full with these two. I feed them, walk them, pick up their poop and wash their feet… Wait a minute, who’s the master?

  5. What a wonderful post – I was intrigued by the title and thoroughly enjoyed reading your experience – wow! I love dinner parties, I especially love to host them so it was nice to hear what you had made. I think that prior preparation is your friend. If you’re having a dinner party, it’s great to be able to host it properly and we can’t always do that if we’re stuck in the kitchen! Glad you had such a great time!

    I was thinking just the other day how I’m not all that far away from Norway… we’re rather close on our map… How far down towards the UK are you? 🙂

  6. I’m all the way down at the bottom of Norway. I can practically see the UK from my window, but I really have to squint 🙂

  7. annie siersema potter

    happy to hear the dinner was a hit! your home is beautiful and looking out your window is so peaceful.

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