After all the glitter and hustle of December's holiday entertaining, you'd think that January is the month when we can finally pull on the slouchy socks, plop down on the couch and crack that copy of The Goldfinch (784 pages!) we got for Christmas. And while I completely support that activity, or lack thereof, I also strongly feel that January is an excellent, if not superior, month for entertaining. I know you think I'm crazy (or mean) but bear with me.
Even though it's getting lighter with each day now, January can be a let-down month for many people. Winter settles in with a thud and there are no big holidays to distract us from the fact that it's here for the long haul. As the snow piles high or the rain beats down with persistence, we need companionship and a good meal more than ever in January.
It's important to emphasize that the kind of entertaining one does in January is very different than the kind of entertaining one does in December. December entertaining is about glitz and glamour and pulling out the special silverware. January entertaining is more quiet and cozy and casual. It's simple cooking like roast chicken or a pot of chili. It's a room full of loved ones in warm flannel shirts and funky old sweaters. It's store-bought pie and a pot of tea with a few friends.
There's always someone we weren't able to see in December, either because of travel or the general craziness of the season. A simple potluck meal on a Saturday in January is a perfect way to connect with those we missed. Or an early Sunday soup supper or even a simple brunch casserole and a pot of good coffee.
Or maybe you received a fun and inspiring piece of kitchen equipment, or cookbook, or a special ingredient as a gift in December. Aren't you dying to try out that new Le Creuset Dutch oven or to sprinkle za'atar on a chicken and pop it in the oven? Maybe that beer-making kit was a success and now you want to sure the results? January is the perfect month to enjoy and experiment with your new toys!
Do you enjoy entertaining in January? What kind of parties do you like to throw?
(Image credits: Dana Velden)