• There’s always a lot to be done in the kitchen: chopping, washing, boiling, mincing—all necessary to the end game, but much more fun when done as a team.
• Homemade vinaigrettes are delicious and simple. Tell your guest the golden ratio—3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar—have them toss in fresh herbs, and shake in an old mustard jar (dollop of actual mustard optional but delicious).
• Assign someone to be the mixologist or sommelier for the night, and you’ll be sure to keep all cups filled (a golden rule of entertaining).
• Table details matter. Put one friend on flower duty (throw some fresh herbs into the vase too) and another on laying out plates, napkins, and flatware. That way you can stick to the main matter at hand: the food.