Celebrate Cooking Together
What’s holding you back from entertaining more? Opening up your home? Planning a brunch date? On your porch? In your living room? Or, in your backyard?
What’s holding you back from picking up the phone, sending out an invite, texting, or sending a message? Is it too much effort? Too much money? Too much pre-cleaning? Or, post-cleaning? Too much to even think about?
These are questions I often ask myself. I mentally kick myself when another week goes by and seven days skip along without breakfast/brunch/lunch/dinner/coffee and dessert guests. Excuses? Oh, I’ve got them. Tons of them. Some of them are perfectly legit.
Yet… I still hold back.
One way to ease back into entertaining mode with friends and family is to just pull that Band-Aid off. Pick up that phone, get your fingers typing, and just do it.
Taco night is a family favorite of ours. Whether at our home, my in-laws, or my brother and sister in-laws house, tacos are a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Everyone knows what to expect and everyone can find a combination that fits his or her dietary needs.
Ready to jump in with me and get this party started?
Let’s talk through the logistics. Taco night is a great get-together where everyone can jump in at the level they feel most comfortable with.
Not sure where to start?
Here are my seven tips on hosting a multi-family taco night.
1. Identify your foodies. Do you have a family member or friend that likes food exploration? Great, they will be the one who will bring that extra-special touch. Assign them salsa. Yes, salsa is also great for the bachelor in the group, but trust me, a foodie is the one who will make their own salsa or shop to find just.the.right.one.with.the.great.story. Don’t have a foodie friend? Okay, give the task to your bachelor friend. He’ll know what to do.
2. Moms. Got a mom on the invitation list? She is going to be your shredded cheese hero. And sour cream. Check and mate. She’s going to bring the Sams Club size, guaranteed.
3. Veggie Prep. Ouch, this one is not everyone’s favorite. Save the messy tomato job for you, no one wants that job. Besides, tomatoes and avocados are the two things you want to save for last due to juiciness and spoilage. Ask for volunteers for lettuce shredders, onion mincers, jalapenos slicers, and cilantro choppers. If you have a mid-life no-children couple, they will take this challenge on with relish. Relax, they’ve got this covered.
4. Beef. This is where you come in. Make the event easy and pre-cook these an hour before guests arrive and keep it in the warmer or crock-pot. No one will complain and that’s more time for margaritas. Speaking of….
5. Margaritas. Seems about the right time to mention this. Set up a station and let it work for itself. Assign the first person that walks through the door to get their blender on. Just make sure they are twenty-one. And eager to help.
6. Chips and Dip. You’ll want some chips and dip with that margarita. Cue your bachelor friend. Generic salsa will work just fine for this. If your foodie person wants more on their to-do list, assign them this. Who knows? Maybe you’ll end up with sweet potato/chili/lime/vinegar/cilantro flavored tortilla chips.
7. The Tortilla Station. Last but not least… the most dreaded assignment of them all… the tortilla station. If you are a purist, plan for an hour at the stovetop cooking corn and flour tortillas over the stovetop with olive oil. Plan half that time grilling tortillas on the grill. Do these two hours before and wrap them in tin foil and place in the warmer. That way all you have to do is when guests arrive is to kick back, enjoy chips and salsa, and let that eager beaver first-arriving-guest make you a margarita. See how easy this is?
You see, the moral of this story is simple… humans need other humans. We want, no we need, each other. We need to connect, to laugh, to eat, to drink, and to just goof off a little bit. We don’t need to worry about complicating everything. We can do this.
Happy taco night.
Lyndi Fultz, nwafoodie
Arkansas Women Blogger member Lyndi Fultz writes about living and eating well from her life in beautiful Northwest Arkansas at nwafoodie. Much of her blogging inspiration comes from this gem of a place, which she refers to as the proverbial land of milk-and-honey. Read more related to cooking, entertaining, gadget suggestions, ingredient explorations, local finds, local restaurant treasures, kitchen tour spotlights, and always with a healthy and simplistic approach.