For whatever reasons, we widows seem to forget how to entertain. We slip into neutral gear, waiting for others to invite us. But never have relationships been so important. In place of that companion who was always there, we need a multitude of relationships to compensate. We need to practice hospitality. We need to reciprocate. Any excuse is good enough, and birthdays are really good excuses to gather friends together.
Women are much easier to entertain than couples. We understand that it’s all about being together. It doesn’t have to be a gourmet meal. I don’t have to pull out the family heirlooms or hire a fancy caterer. By trial and error, I have learned that six are easier than 12. I can easily cook and get food on the table for six, and cleanup isn’t too hard or time-consuming.
Sunday nights are ideal. Weekends drag for most women who live alone. By Sunday night everyone wants to see other people. And Sunday night is terrific for the hostess. “Sunday night supper” implies simple and casual. I can plan the menu and grocery list on Friday, grocery shop and set the table on Saturday, cook on Sunday afternoon. Voila! The weekend flies by.
Photo: This birthday celebration got out of hand. I re-purposed flowers (flamigos on the buffet in the background) from another party, then went searching for table accessories to match the color scheme. My mother-in-law’s vintage raw silk placemats and silk napkins from Jim Thompson, Bangkok, were my only tropical pink and green. That meant pulling out her floral wedding china and Lev’s grandmother’s green Fostoria stemware. I called my friend Gary Homan, who has been baking and decorating beautiful cakes for our family since 1989, and begged her to use leftovers from whatever groom’s cake she was baking that weekend, and she outdid herself.