Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Martha, Martha, Martha

Home entertaining can be a wonderful experience. Inviting family and friends to one's home for an afternoon or evening of food and fun can reap rewards and memories that can last a lifetime. There are some among us for whom entertaining is a breeze. Those gifted souls who naturally understand the science of centre pieces, the mystery of luncheon and dinner sets, and have an innate understanding of which foods pleasantly combine with others so as not to create bad breath, bad stomachs or bad feelings for one's guests. My mother is blessed with this wondrous ability. She can throw together a party with the deftness of Michael Jordan throwing a free throw. She always has just the right amount of hors d'oeuvres. The table is always immaculately set. The food is fresh, homemade and perfectly plated. Best of all, are the desserts! Fresh baked and never, ever (God forbid!!) store-bought. And as wonderful as she is at all of this, her twin sister (my other mother) is just as good if not better! The thing is, is that neither one of these incredibly talented women, think that what they do is the least bit accomplished. They blow it off as trivial and suspect, and they have often wondered what all the fuss is about. I am here to tell you that it is a big deal! For some of us, entertaining can be likened to an all day appointment at the dentist without anesthesia. I guess the Martha gene skips a generation, because I do not possess this natural ability to host a gathering. Don't get me wrong! I have certainly learned at my mothers' knees. I am a fairly adequate cook and an even better baker. (Thank you Moms!) I know what fork to use and how to fold a napkin. I understand that fresh is always better and that artificial vanilla should never EVER EVER be used! (It should be removed from store shelves!!) I just don't have the natural ability. I stress for weeks about the details. I worry about the food, the decor, the table, and whether or not I will send my friends home with ptomaine poisoning. It is not logical-but it is extraordinarily stressful for me, and I would suspect that there are others out there like me. I need to tell one and all that fear of entertaining should NEVER preclude one from doing it. Nobody cares if the food is take out and the plates are plastic. It doesn't matter one whit if the cookies are store-bought or if the table is set according to Miss Manners. What matters is the invitation. The invitation is always welcome. It is the company of friends and family that matters. It is the common gathering that matters. The husband, teenage son and I have been blessed with several invitations since the demo/reno started. Some we have been able to accept and some not! (It is incredible how popular we suddenly are!) We need you all to know how incredibly grateful we are for thinking of us. (Please note that this is not a plea for others to step forward!! We would be just slightly horrified if that happened. Please know that we are all doing just fine!) We will be returning the favours after the kitchen is complete. I think I have started stressing already!!!

It is a slow day here today! (If you excuse the cleaning lady attempting her weekly ritual! Yes--she is still coming!) We hope to see somebody soon, but we are sort of in a holding pattern as we await the cabinets, countertop and appliances. There is still plenty to do, but I have given up trying to figure these guys out. Outside Hunky (despite popular opinion that he is a figment of my imagination) has sworn that he will come tomorrow to complete the deck! Yeah, right!

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