Last night, Darby and I had the college group from church over for a cookout. It was my first "big" use of the grill, and I learned an important lesson: Keep the heat on LOW when cooking burgers. We created a lot of smoke, not to mention a couple of charred burgers.
I love cooking for people and having people over, but here's my problem: I don't really enjoy myself when I'm the host. I feel like I'm running around constantly trying to make sure there's enough food; that silverware is out; that cups are filled with ice, etc. I'm not sure why I seem to have so much trouble with this. I am a fairly organized person, and I always try to get as much done ahead of time as possible. I also try to know my limits and not take on more than I can handle. (For example, I made homemade ice cream for last night, but I did not do any sides; people just brought chips.) But somehow I always end up feeling more than a little harried. And I don't get to sit down and really enjoy being with my guests.
Part of the problem might be the size of my kitchen. There's just not enough counter space to keep everything I need out, so I have to tell people where stuff is. Also, my personality is not what one would call "laid-back" in any situation.
But, I want to be that person who makes entertaining seem effortless. I've been to people's houses where it's like that. Are they just putting on a good act? Or do they really not get stressed out?
I'm hoping that with more practice, I'll get better at striking a balance between making sure everyone is taken care of and actually relaxing and having fun as well. If you are a good host, give me some tips. If you get stressed out like me, let me know, so I don't feel so bad. :)