Sutter Home Book Club: Entertaining Tip
Because my father, like me, is the oldest of seven children, the guest list of every event our family ever hosted consisted exclusively of people we shared DNA with. As a result, when I moved with my husband and two children to Memphis, I knew very little about entertaining, especially Southern entertaining. I didn’t own a tablecloth. Luckily new friends with Junior League pedigrees forgave my lapses and taught me the three C's of hosting. I'm chagrinned to admit that of all the advice I got about those three C's (consider, converse and charm) the only bit that stuck is the idea that it was my responsibility as hostess to start conversations between my guests. After a few events where we all spent most of our time earnestly listening to Pandora, I learned to start conversations between guests by providing a bit of context along with a guest's name. Because I write fiction, I embellish, which leaves the guests to tell a more correct version of the story. "My cousin," I might say, straightening the edge of my new linen tablecloth, "landed the biggest Sturgeon ever caught."
- Courtney Miller Santo, author of Three Story House