Kitchen Cure Week #6: Hosting a Dinner Party

The Kitchen Cure Spring 2009


A table we set for a small birthday party.
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• Cure Clock: 1 week remaining. This is it! • Cure Takers: 831

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This is it. The last week. By now you should feel armed and ready to plan an entire dinner party. In fact, your graduation party is that dinner, so invite people to celebrate. Even if your date is in the future, you can start planning now. There's plenty to do.

This week we'll be talking about the flow of a meal and other entertaining topics like what music we like to play for cooking and eating. We'll also be asking you to show us your planning pictures, meal plans and finally, shots from your party.Our usual note on participation: Do your best, and pace yourself, but march forward. This is the fun part! Document your progress with photos and discussion on the forum, this way you'll stay in touch with the community and the group will help keep you going. Behind? Losing steam? Ask for help!

This week is your opportunity to get creative and ask questions. We're here (staff and readers) to help you. This is the spot: in the comments.

I won't overwhelm you with a list of assignments for the week. The main idea here is use everything you've gained in the Cure and celebrate with a dinner party. Plan it to be in the next month or two; you want to keep the knife sharp, so to speak.

At the very least, you now have:

  • De-cluttered and cleaned refrigerator and cupboards. (Week One)
  • A kitchen with only necessary equipment and tools, the rest was given away. (Week Two)
  • A well-stocked kitchen, a special project completed and something beautiful added (Week Three)
  • At least one new cooking skill mastered (Week Four)
  • Some meal planning tools (Week Five)

Wow. Congratulations! I am utterly impressed.

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Maxwell hanging lanterns for our dinner celebrating his mother's Valentine's Day birthday. We wanted her to feel enveloped in warm light. Have a vision and ask for help executing it!

Week 6 Assignments

1. Send out invitations to your party: I believe the ideal number of people for a dinner party is six. That way conversations can stay in the group and not split off. There also aren't so many people to crowd the kitchen. I have six of my favorite plates and six of my favorite napkins. Maybe that's the real reason!

2. Plan the meal: Meaning from start to finish. Use those meal-planning skills we talked about last week. Write it out, make your shopping list, shop, get everything in order, cook ahead if called for, then the day of the party, pace yourself. Have fun.

3. Do something fun design-wise with your space: Be it the way you set the table, something with flowers, a new lighting scheme. There's plenty of table-setting resources on the site.

3. Document it: We really want to see your graduation parties. Have the camera out and if you have someone around who wants a job but you don't want them wielding a knife, photographer is the perfect job. Try to shoot your planning stages. Try to shoot in natural light. But also try not to let the camera interfere with your flow. Send photos to us, pretty please.

This isn't good-bye: we'll be with you all week, and of course, The Kitchn is always here for you, seven days a week, inspiring cooks and nourishing homes.

Reminders about photographs:

  • If you'd like your progress to be showcased, please take "before" and "after shots" and submit them directly to The Kitchn. Make sure to explain what's going on in each image.
  • We also have a 2009 Kitchen Cure Flickr Group. If you post your photos to this group, please include captions so we understand what's going on in each image.

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