More Swiss perfection and the one time we screwed it all up, after the jump!
But, one time we hosted friends for lunch and screwed up absolutely everything!
The doorbell rang and the food was very much still in progress. Okay, I had just started cooking. We always made Mexican when we had friends over because we missed Mexican food and loved any excuse to make it and there was no good Mexican to be had in Zurich, so we enjoyed showing people what real Mexican food tastes like. That was great, except we had to make everything from scratch, even the salsa and enchilada sauce! On this particular occasion, J tried to be the charming host and attempted to usher everyone into the living room while I frantically made enchilada sauce from Italian passata, but it didn't work.
Our guests had brought a gift for Coco, which they wanted to watch her open, and I couldn't miss that! Then, they wanted to chat with me, too, during the bubbly stage of the plan. Luckily, we knew them quite well, so we all piled into the kitchen and I chatted with them while I cooked. But, that only lasted for so long. Their kids got super hungry because naturally they had arrived hungry. And then Coco got into a foul mood and threw a glass that she grabbed off the counter onto the kitchen floor! Unlike American kitchens, Swiss kitchens always have hard tile floors instead of linoleum. It is not the least bit forgiving. The glass shattered into a billion pieces that flew straight up and all over the kitchen. Oh my god. I couldn't tell if shards of glass had flown into the chicken I was shredding in a bowl. I just looked at everyone thinking lunch was a total bust and said as much. But they just laughed and reassured me that it was probably fine. Then they asked for a plain flour tortilla for their starving daughter, which she munched on happily as I slid the enchiladas into the oven.
It was such a mess, but finally lunch was served! When we got to dessert, everyone was too full of enchiladas, rice and beans. Being American, and particularly without the dessert, I didn't think to still serve coffee without fail after a meal. So then our poor guests had to ask for espresso! Fail number I-lost-count-a-while-ago. Ugh. It was so embarrassing, because it's supposed to go like clockwork every time and we pretty didn't do any of it right. Live and learn, right?
Being naturally a bit of a hot mess, I have to be deliberate about organizing things. When I was about 10 or 12, I would always run out of hot water in the shower because I would be singing and dancing and daydreaming, and by the time I washed my hair, I was stuck rinsing with cold water! After this happened lots of times, my mom basically gave me a list to get out of the way first thing so that when the water ran cold, I could just jump out. That list, as you might imagine, went something like this: shampoo, conditioner, wash, then you're free to prance and daydream. The beauty of the Swiss Luncheon being the same at every single house we went to was that it gave me a similar list for entertaining. Once we had that list, all we had to do was follow it!
Are you naturally talented at entertaining? What is your go-to formula for a dinner party? Or lunch party? Or similar? Please chime in in the comments below!