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Impromptu. What a great word. Fun to say and perfect in some situations. Just another good example of something we can thank France for.
Mr. Webster will tell you that it means:
1. made or done without previous preparation:
An impromptu address to the unexpected crowds.
2. suddenly or hastily prepared, made, etc.:
An impromptu dinner.
3. improvised; having the character of an improvisation.
But I will tell you it perfectly describes our dinner party last Saturday night.
We had no plans until about 10:30 that morning. After a quick phone call with our friends, we had decided that yes, we definitely should get together, and no, we shouldn’t plan to eat out because the guys wanted to watch the football game. So, game on, as they say.
On our blog, we talk a lot about how to successfully throw a party, and that success is based on having a plan and working the plan. But, sometimes, circumstances call for a little spontaneity. In one of our early posts, we talked about what to have on hand when planning isn’t really an option. We also have talked about the importance of maintaining a well-stocked home bar (and how to easily do it) especially for situations just like this one. But this weekend we were reminded of another entertaining philosophy that we use which allows us to have an impromptu dinner party with no stress or panic. Basically, it boils down to having at least one drink and one dish that you’re comfortable pulling together without much thought or planning.
The Bartender has mastered having a wide assortment of cocktails and usually has all the necessary supplies and parts on hand. On Saturday, an assortment actually got served, including gin and tonics, a couple of old fashioneds, and one round of lavender martinis.
For the food, we relied on a couple of our tried and true recipes: We served our homemade pizza for dinner (our guests brought a salad) and for dessert I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies. While at one point it was starting to resemble a school lunch, we were able to pull it back onto the adult track when we opened a great bottle of red wine.
Honestly, we didn’t do much to prep the house. Since during the day we tend to use the kitchen counter as our office, I did move my pile of folders and papers. I hadn’t dusted the house in a couple, okay several, weeks, so I took my little duster thingy and sort of danced through the living room, giving the furniture a quick once-over to remove the obvious layer of dust. I had cleaned the bathrooms last week when my sister came to visit, so I didn’t even bother with those. And Jon ran the portable vacuum around to just tame the fluffs of cat fur rolling around. That all took us about 15 minutes.
We had planned to eat off our laps in front of the TV and watch the game. And this is the part of the evening that perhaps required the greatest improvisation. Turns out the game was on some premier cable channel that is not included in the 300 channels we already pay for. After a few minutes of scrambling to see if we could somehow stream the broadcast (we couldn’t), we resorted to listening to the game on an old-school transistor radio. We built a fire in the fire pit, propped the radio up nearby, and ate our pizza under the stars. Not exactly the night we had anticipated but it will definitely be one of those entertaining moments that I’ll cherish for a long time. It was, in a word, perfect.