On Not Doing it All (Again)

On the one hand, it’s a compliment to hear “How do you do it all.” Because having the question directed at you means that the asker believes you do do it all.

I try my hardest to smile sincerely at anyone who asks me that question, but in truth, my gut reaction would be to burst into hysterical laughter. I don’t do it all. I don’t even do half of it. What is it, anyway?

But I do understand where the question comes from, and perhaps I’ve even asked it myself a time or two. I think what we’re really asking when we ask, “How do you do it all?” is How do you do this one thing that I can’t seem to even begin to think about?

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For me, that thing is often entertaining. And while cleaning up from this week’s Sunday dinner, I realized one way I make entertaining easier for our family.

Last week’s dinner was a big one, with ten guests in attendance. And while I always work to keep the menu as simple and low maintenance as possible, the truth is, cooking for 10 people is a bit of undertaking no matter what you’re making. So one way life looks easier after entertaining is in my leftover game. Dear readers, I’m going to brag for a moment when I tell you that my leftover game is strong. After Sunday Dinners, I take whatever salads we have on hand (which in this case were this and this), add some shredded rotisserie chicken, and call it a complete meal. Fancy it is not, but it’s certainly worth it to avoid another big night of cooking right after having guests.

In Which We Finally Have Friday Night Meatballs*

Remember Friday Night Meatballs? If you’ve read the blog once or twice, surely you’ve seen me link to it before. Bottom line: a family realized they weren’t connecting with neighbors and friends as much as they wanted, and so they were intentional about making it happen more, and now they can’t imagine life without it.

I read it and we lived in someone else’s house. And then we lived in our own house, but it wasn’t finished. And then, by the time it was finished enough to start something new, we put a new baby in it, and everything I knew about routine, order, and planning was turned on its head.

But now. Now it’s time! Except now there’s this little person who is always here, and who goes to bed so early that I don’t know that Friday Night Meatballs is a real possibility. Except the great thing about Friday Night Meatballs is that it so obviously doesn’t have to be Friday night meatballs. Duh, Jennie. So we have Sunday Dinner. Want to come?

Classic bruschetta becomes a bonding activity when you turn it into a serve-yourself bar. The colorful elements also stand out at the table, functioning as decor. See more at What's Gaby Cooking »   - HouseBeautiful.com

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Here are the rules:

  • We don’t clean our house before you come.
  • We will most likely serve you with disposable plates and flatware so we don’t have to do the dishes after you leave.
  • It will be frighteningly early so we can put our kid to bed at the normal time.
  • We will absolutely take you up on your offer to bring something.

I promise, it’s a blast despite all of those things. Because like this article from my foodie pen pal suggests, eating and talking with people shouldn’t be hard. I’ll share some of our favorite menus soon.

*But really, we have Sunday Dinner.