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(By Eve Bushman) Cruising a foodie group on Facebook one member’s query kind of stuck out in my mind. It was something like, “Does anyone do dinner parties anymore?” About half of the comments, if not more, said no. Due to pets, small dining spaces, children, busy schedules and a lack of ideas.

That lack of ideas on what to do for a dinner party got my mind racing. I never run out of ideas. Granted we have a kitchen made for entertaining, and a home that has managed events for up to 75 people, but the size of our kitchen isn’t where our dinner party ideas stem from.

It stems from our interests not only in food preparation and presentation, but also with the wine and/or spirits we want to serve to complement our meals.

If we go back a few decades we began as young married couples often do: experimenting in the kitchen. I happened to share my kitchen with a firefighter that was used to cooking for a dozen or more crew members. Hence, we always had too much. (Truth be told this is still a problem!) We had pals that lived close by that were more than willing to come up for a ready-made meal, bring wine, and our Thursday Night Dinners began.

Every other week we walked over to see the Andrews, and they came over to our house on the weeks when it was our turn. Eventually other friends got wind of our dinners and they grew – with more couples and more wine than we really wanted to partake in on a week night.

Fast forward to our third home in Awesometown. Our kitchen prep area is probably four or five times greater than the kitchen was in our starter home was. And now we knew that the kitchen was where the action was. Ed had become an excellent cook, as most fire fighters are, and I was happy to be his sous chef.

Now we plan monthly dinner parties, with a rotating set of pals (as we are all so busy everyone is not always free) and still enjoy the menu planning as well as pulling wines from our cellar to pair. Over the years I have also enjoyed hosting meetings for the different events I’m working on, as well as a monthly Brainstormer’s Group - and these are mostly potluck with some kind of wine or spirit tasting I throw in for fun

These are the different ideas we’ve tried over the years:

Read more here: Eve’s Wine 101: The Demise of the Dinner Party