Guests like to help. I know this, every etiquette/hosting guide says this. Every lifestyle personality urges get your guests in on it! It's more fun!
bull and shit.
I would like to be that person who opens his kitchen, passes a spare apron, and says oh darling! chop these carrots however you feel regardless of how I'd like them! Even though you just pet my dog, don't worry about washing your hands since there are two people blocking the sink arguing about abortion. But that's not me. I'm a solo act. I feel it's a strength that I at least recognize this; but in the scheme of things, it's probably a weakness. So maybe in 30 years when I'm alone on Thanksgiving, I'll reassess. For now, the motto remains Darling! get the fuck out of the kitchen.
No one breaks and follows this rule more hilariously than my sister. My sister has an uncanny and intuitive way of being in the way. She also has a dramatic and obscene way of fleeing.
You might have a picture of me in your head as being spastic around the kitchen. I'm not. I am very calm and quiet. My sister, on the other hand, is about as quiet and calm as a toddler without an iPad. Before I take anything out of the oven, or from the range to the buffet, I make an announcement that I will be carrying something hot. Clear the path, often demonstrate my path as to avoid a situation where I start making threats as my hands are burning through my stupid, ancient Williams-Sonoma oven mitts. For the most part, everyone has learned to stay out of my way. Except my sister. She will nod and agree when I ask everyone to clear, and yet still be standing right there telling a story with arms flailing around and remain completely oblivious until I quietly say Vanessa. Move. To which she responds by throwing her hands in the air like a Top Chef contestant at the end of the clock and saying oh shit oh shit oh shit and finally scurrying out of the way. Usually spilling some wine and knocking over a chair in the process.
|The Bota Box Malbec is actually pretty good. And I think I could hang out with |
I easily forgive this in her because otherwise she is perfect. She is, and has always been, my biggest supporter and closest confidant. We work as a team, independently. We are on the same page in terms of our family, keeping some traditions and letting others evolve. We are each very respectful of each other's role in our family, and do not try to encroach onto each other's turf. My sister runs the business of the family, and I get to rule the warm and fuzzy. Each is equally important, and either of us would be awful at the other end of things.
Where do I allow help on holidays? Money and wine. I'll happily accept either for the cause. My sister has a natural knack for picking good wine. Her secret is not buying anything with too beautiful or flashy of a label. I seem to always pick bad ones. So that is under her dominion. I ask her to get the wine before the holiday. It makes it easier for her, and much easier for me. Last minute with your turkey resting is no time to be speed-chilling wine in the freezer, forgetting about it, and having a crackled bottle and wine slushie waiting for you. Though a wine slushie is, in fact, quite good.
I like prosecco all day any day, but I really do feel it's the perfect holiday wine. It goes with anything, cuts through the richness without being assertive, and I think a popping bottle is essential to the holiday soundtrack. Also, it seems bubbles keep people in a good mood. So I almost always stick with that. My sister likes to have a full armory of a little bit of everything, just in case.
|You may wish to stop one glass before Ramona.|
What do you serve? Do you ask your guests to bring wine? Do you get specific?