To make your next entertaining event run smoothly, it pays to create a detailed timetable of activities before doing anything else.
Time Required: 1 hour
- Get out a large writing tablet and calendar.
- Make a list of every cleaning task you must do to prepare for party.
- List every decorating task you will do for party.
- List every store you will need to shop in to prepare for party, such as supermarket, florist, liquor store, party supply store, etc.
- List every online or catalog order that must be placed to order supplies for event.
- List every recipe that must be cooked.
- List every step of personal preparation you plan to do, such as visit hairdresser, shop for outfit, take a shower, etc.
- List any furniture rearranging or rental arrangements that need to be made.
- Select a date for each non-cooking item and write it on calendar. Make sure you consider lead-time required for certain tasks. For example, the shipping times needed for online orders.
- Review all recipes and select make-ahead ones. Place them on calendar.
- For remaining recipes look for do-ahead tasks, such as vegetable preparation, that can be done in advance, and write them on calendar.
- Take a separate sheet of paper and label it 'Party Day.' Write down the side of page each hour leading up to party.
- Review remaining recipes and assign them to the times on this page. Pay attention to preheating times required for recipes.
- Add any last minute personal preparation tasks to 'Party Day' page.
- Assign last minute decorating and table-setting tasks to a time slot on the day of the party.
- Overestimate time required to prepare recipes.
- Remember that there will be cleanup required between each recipe, unless you have cleanup assistants to help you.
- Don't forget your limitations in terms of kitchen appliances. If you have only one oven, you're going to have to prepare some items in advance if more than one recipe needs the oven to cook.