<if you don't know who I am talking about - get to know Toppah here>
I always thought of it as Tappah.
Apparently I was wrong.
I was corrected. It is Toppah.
That's out of the way.
So anyhow back to entertaining.
This weekend my parents were hosting a family get together <read 40 people>.
Growing up my grandmother did this every Sunday. My parents didn't entertain much - because our house was SMALL. Our kitchen was beyond small. This much have been exceptionally frustrating for my dad, a kitchen designer. Recently, my parents moved into their 'forever' house, after 30 years in their 'starter home'. It has ample room to entertain, which is good since they have four grandsons under 4 running around it all the time :)
I have learned from my mom, dad and grandmother how to properly entertain. I am here to pass on Toppah's words of wisdom on the subject.
Here are some common entertaining problems and questions and Toppah's advice.
Toppah, how early, often, and where do you shop when you are entertaining?
Toppah sez: shop early and often.
You will have to go to at LEAST 4 different stores not including the wine store. Stores should include but are not limited to; Costco, Stew Leonard's, Hannaford, Diciccio's, Whole Foods (not open yet but it will be when I entertain next) and Stop and
Even after the last shopping stop, you will have to call your brother and sister in law to pick up things like avocados, a red onion 2-3 additional pastry type desserts, a 1/2 gallon of each - vanilla & coffee ice cream & 100 16oz red and blue plastic cups.
ALWAYS leave your car in a spot where you can get out after the guests arrive for the final, final, final run to the store.
Toppah, what earth friendly measures do you take at your gatherings?
Toppah sez: none. Well one. Guests are encouraged to use a black sharpie, located next to the cups (brought by your brother and sister in law) to write your name on their cup. Your REAL name is not required. You are welcome to make up a funnier name. Towards the end of the gathering it becomes difficult to remember what you named yourself and you will need a new cup as by now someone either is using it, or in cleaning up, threw it out.
Toppah, what protein is best to serve at a gathering? Chicken, ribs, steak, turkey, or burgers?
Toppah sez: you need to serve at least two proteins. This way if someone doesn't want one - you will have another.
Prepare enough of each for everyone to have a serving and a half. You never know what people will want more of - and you NEVER want to run out. Head to the store if you need more.
Toppah, what vegetables should you serve and how many?
Toppah sez: There are a few options. At least two cooked vegetables that compliment the meal and one uncooked should be served. Some of my go-to veggies include (all homemade - homegrown if possible) - Eggplant parm, brussels sprouts, green beans, and tomato salad. You can have more, but not less.
Toppah, what starch should be served?
Toppah sez: at least two. Options include: homemade pasta, homemade ravioli, polenta, or fresh bread... you can serve something else - like rice, potatoes, or something... but you probably shouldn't.
You will ALWAYS underestimate how much time making pasta takes. Even with the best calculations you will underestimate by 3 or more hours. So it is best to start at 5 am or the day before - this leaves time for the last minute shopping trips you will need.
Toppah, on what holidays do you entertain?
Toppah sez: Christmas, Thanksgiving, Italian Thanksgiving <a made up family holiday>, Summer, Christmas Eve, St. Joseph's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Easter, February, Halloween, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Fall.
Questions for Toppah? Need some advice? Post your question below!
<I still think Toppah is the wrong spelling...>
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