Montgomery County Residents Ben Goodman and Deb Greenspan recently wrote and published a new book called the Dinner Party Diary. We had the opportunity to speak with Deb and were able to gain more insight into the book and where the idea originally came from. Below is what she shared with us, thanks Deb!
I recently launched a new product — The Dinner Party Diary — with long-time friend and resident of Lower Merion, Benjamin Goodman. I have a passion for creating occasions for friends and family to come together to celebrate or to simply enjoy one another’s company. The Dinner Party Diary is a product of that passion.
The idea for The Dinner Party Diary came from a spiral-bound notebook I had kept myself for years. I’m a bit neurotic, so I’ve always recorded the details of my parties, including who was there, what I served, and what went well. I also kept track of my friends’ favorite drinks and foods so I could have them available when they were my guests. Friends commented on how much they liked the idea, so I tried to find one for hostess gifts. But there was nothing that contained the information I knew was important in the price range I was looking for…so I decided to make my own! If you’d like to take a closer look, please visit our website. It can also be purchased at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
I have found that the key to planning a great dinner party is getting organized. If the event is a formal sit-down dinner, I try to give myself at least a couple of weeks to prepare. With the warm weather arriving, however, my dinner parties tend to become much more relaxed, casual, and spontaneous. But ironically, it’s much easier to be spontaneous if you’re well-prepared! If you’ve kept notes on people’s favorite drinks, for example, or jotted down the appetizers that have been hugely successful in the past, you can eliminate a lot of guess work and be much more efficient when you’re trying to throw everything together at the last minute.
Creating a theme for your party also makes the occasion fun and easier to plan. Decisions are more streamlined, including choices related to food, drinks, music, and decor. I’m looking forward to hosting a taco party in the near future, for example. I love this idea because it works for such a range of eaters, from children to adults, and carnivores to vegans. I’ll provide lots of options, and guests can build their own. I’ll offer seasoned steak, grilled vegetables, lentils and rice, as well as lots of fresh guacamole and salsa. And of course it will all be accompanied by Corona (with lime) and margaritas!
Finally, no matter what type of party you are hosting, remember to relax and have fun. Things can and often do go wrong. No one will walk out if their food is slightly too spicy or their Pinot Grigio is not properly chilled. So plan, prepare, and then enjoy!