Apr 22, 2010

Let's not, shall we: A word on Entertaining Books

For research purposes, I read more decor-entertaining-advice books than I care to mention. Most of them are forgettable to the point where I wonder if, in fact, I even read them in the first place. And if there's one thing that's true, though, is that I can't stand to read the phrase: "Don't worry, have fun!" I swear it comes up about 30000 times in every book. This is terrible advice, since "having a small and intense panic attack" seems to be part of many would-be-hosts to-do lists.  Having fun is the furthest thing from my mind in that jumpy pre-guest moment where I realize that I have about 2 minutes to get dressed, answer text messages from people who need directions, answer calls about parking, etc etc. And then the cat decides to get stuck behind a dresser. FUN!

Sometimes, though, an author suggests something so far out of left field that I just have to share it with someone. Today, it's this tip from caterer-to-the-stars Lulu Powers, from her book Lulu Powers: Food to Flowers. I will preface this by saying that I actually enjoyed this book, at least from a recipe standpoint. There are at least 15 post-its marking recipes, including one for Chocolate-Caramel Brownies that are not only Bill Clinton-approved, but only use about 5 ingredients (the biggest one being a Devil's Food cake mix). She seems genuinely delightful, naming her doggie Teddy Kennedy, calling afternoon drinks "sneakies", etc.

But here's the tip that threw me:

"For an indoor clambake...buy a bag of sand from a local hardware store or garden center and spread it down the center of a small table like a table runner..."

Just, um, make sure you have a good vacuum and keep the cats far, far away from the table. Lest people start finding bits of "brownies" by their entrees. Say it with me: "Let's not, shall we!"

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