We recently had a friend of Joel’s and his fiancé over for dinner.

We have gone thru quite an entertaining famine around here…
Aside from my girls’ birthdays  I have taken little opportunity to set a table, create a menu, decant a bottle of wine…
I guess you go thru seasons like that with babies, small children and a hubby who works evenings but I sure have missed it.
For a creative type you always wonder how many stops to pull out, at least I do when I don’t really know the person.  I think maybe it comes from a bit of insecurity that took root as a young bride years ago… We had some friends of Joel’s over for dinner, it was such a cozy night, I set my table as best I could with what little we had and lit a TON of candles.  I was so proud to be entertaining.  The friend made a crack that when they pulled up he thought we were celebrating Hanukkah.  

I was young.  Maybe 20/21.

The guys’ comments hurt.  It hurt that my new husband didn’t say something to take me off the hook like, “Didn’t she do a great job?”
Funny little things stick with you don’t they?
You know how it is if you are “one of those people” – the one your friends tease as Martha Stewart or even worse, Susie Homemaker (I find that so offensive)… and I guess since then I have always felt a little weird about wanting to express myself when entertaining.  I love it, it thrills me, but it’s never been without a bit of insecurity.

 Those details that are SO fun… are they going to be considered as “showing off” or over the top… will they go un-noticed?  Because, really, as an old friend and I once discussed, it’s those details that show our affection and love for the people we are serving and entertaining.  It’s our way of saying,
“I’m so happy you are here.  Please, sit down, experience, relax and enjoy.”

So, this recent dinner party,  it was a weeknight and I held it in a little bit…
I didn’t write up a menu on my favorite little menu papers or on the blackboard, I didn’t use fancy paper for my place cards – I kept it simple – having a little fun with pretty edible flowers on the salads, a simple bouquet from the late spring garden and themed items from around the house… it was a wonderful night.  The meal came out perfectly, the conversation flowed and it was great to get my feet wet again.

This evenings menu…
My “signature” Pork Loin with Gorgonzola sauce (thank you Sarah for the inspiration!) semi-crisp “haricot verts”, salad from the garden with chive flowers and johnny jump ups, homemade vinaigrette, biscuits with herbs de provence and my Blackberry/Grapefruit with Sauternes cake to be featured in Fifi’s new book next fall!

Oh!  How I have missed having guests.

I have an invitation out for a Potager luncheon with some French friends of ours and my dear friend Molly.  Years ago we would all meet every Saturday morning for “French Class” …no matter how late we had been out dancing the night before I could always spring out of bed with excitement for French class!- but families grow, people move away (even if it’s just twenty miles) and times change.  A decade sure can fly by.   I am really looking forward to entertaining out on the flagstone, with the fountain, the shade of the apple trees and the clucking of the chickens in the background.

My wheels are spinning!

So, “Parisienne Farmgirl Entertains” will be a new feature around here.  Challenging myself creatively, keeping my heart soft towards others (I can let life get me down/stressed and it ends up that having people over sounds like more of a burden than fun…), friends stay and some come and go… but I don’t ever want to go thru an entertaining desert again!

How about you?
Is it time to make a hot pot of coffee and open your home?