What Would Coco Do?

"How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone." Coco Chanel

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Location: Nashville, Tennessee, United States

I love the finer things in life, and I love writing. That's why I'm here. Want Coco to review your product? E-mail me at cococares@gmail.com!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Be a Gracious Guest

Dear Husband and I have been invited to a dinner party tonight. In this day and age, many of us simply don't have time to entertain, but during the holiday season, I'm sure most of us will receive an invitation to a friend or neighbor's open house.

Always bring a host/hostess gift!

If the affair is an open house, I recommend a plant. If you know that the host/hostess has pets, you may not want to bring a Poinsettia. They are poisonous to pets. A topiary rosemary plant will not only look lovely, but the herb can be used if your host/hostess enjoys cooking. If you do not want to go the plant route, I suggest candles, but nothing too strongly scented.

If the affair is a dinner party, I recommend any of the following combinations:

1. A bottle of wine and flowers.
2. A bottle of wine and dessert (always ask if you can bring anything, most times the host/hostess will suggest dessert - but never assume).
3. Flowers and dessert (if the host/hostess is a tee-totaler).
4. If none of these suggestions sound do-able, I suggest candles, flavored oils or other interesting culinary items.

You should never show up to a party empty-handed. Your host/hostess has undoubtedly put a lot of effort into the affair, and you want to show your appreciation!

And then there's the question about food. Sometimes the host/hostess will ask if you have any food allergies (for example, shellfish makes me blow up), but other than that NEVER be demanding. For example "Oh I don't eat anything green or anything that comes from California, because I am mad at that state and hope Lex Luthor blows it up and it falls in the ocean." Whatever is served you should accept. Even if you have never had a certain food, there's a good chance it will be delicious! Be adventurous and try new things.

If you don't see a salt and pepper shaker on the table, there is a reason. The chef has already seasoned the dish, and if you add more seasoning (especially before tasting) it will alter the quality of what has been prepared. If you must ask for salt and pepper, at least try the meal before asking. Never douse your plate in seasoning before taking the first bite.

After the party, if you want to go that extra mile, send a thank you note. Snail mail correspondence is a rarity these days. It is always nice to receive a note of thanks, especially from a friend!


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