There’s no doubt that with the economic downturn, people are looking for ways to save money. Logically, there’s been a shift toward staying home (“Stay-cations”) rather than traveling, cost-cutting strategies and “sale watching” at stores, and an increasing focus on at-home entertaining over eating out.
I love that at-home entertaining is more en vogue than ever. It should be. Opening one’s home to others is a gracious expression of hospitality. And there are so many ways to entertain beyond a traditional dinner or cocktail party.
Card Club: The Latest in Recession-Chic Entertaining
One new trend in at-home entertaining is a resurrection of the good old-fashioned Card Club. No, this is not your “grandma’s canasta club.” Think mod, stylish, and fun.
Friends of mine recently assembled a Card Club which we inaugurated this past weekend. Four couples will get together every four to six weeks for a simple, but delicious dinner and a couple hours of trying out a new card game. (We played Euchre and Oh Hell! to kick off the Club and, man, was the competition intense!) Eight people is a perfect number as you can divide and play two four-person games.
We started with antipasti and cocktails. The host made an amazing batch of Campari and Orange which was perfectly refreshing on a warm evening. There are several variations of the recipe, as well as other delicious Campari drinks worth trying. Here are a few:
Later, each couple assembled their own pizzas which were baked on pizza stones. The interactivity of choosing the toppings and creating a custom pizza was great fun for the guests.
The result was mouthwatering…
When the weather permits, it is always so nice to eat a casual meal outside. We used simple decor on the patio, adding a runner to the teak table and herb pots wrapped with parchment and raffia, along with votives, for a natural, earthy centerpiece.
A platter of dessert bars was served at each card table for guests to nibble on during the games. Coffee and after dinner cocktails were also served.
So the next time you and your circle of friends decide to eat in rather than go out, why not add a little friendly competition to the evening? You may even find grandma’s canasta game is not so boring, after all…