I recorded a solo Q&A episode for my podcast on Friday, and sitting down to answer the questions people had asked me on social media one made me pause a little.
“Does being vegan ever affect your social life?”
Hmmm. I caught my breath as I found a good answer to this. Yes? I guess it probably has to be totally honest. It totally has. But in a good way.
I’ve been veggie (on and off) since I was a teenager. And vegan (on and off!) for a few years. TOTALLY on for a year now. And in that time there’s been a heap of stumbling blocks, although when you know me you know I don’t consider these to be an issue anyway……
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Anyway, as I’ve become comfortable in my veganism and found regular places to eat, brilliant substitutes for old faves and well worn recipes I turn to again and again there’s one thing I’ve struggled with a little. Until now anyway.
Not a natural host
I’ve always HATED entertaining. Playing host is literally my least favourite thing to do. The potential for a cooking related disaster is stressful, coupled with the etiquette: ‘How many bottles of wine should I provide?!” and: “Do crisps and dip count as a starter?” make me very sweaty palmed indeed.
But with my endeavours to reduce my waste and the fact my entire family is now vegan, I’ve found a bit of a sweet spot in the kitchen. I have old classics I can cook easily, knowing they’ll turn out how they’re supposed to.
Being vegan certainly adds an element of: ‘F@ck, this needs to be EXTRA yummy” when you’re cooking for carnivores but it also reduces the fear of food poisoning massively (except rice…..always be careful with rice!)
Anyway. As we’ve moved to a new area, with a bigger space for entertaining and a bigger community of people we want to hang out with we’ve been bold and played host a fair few times now.
Keeping it all simple is the aim of ALL my endeavours. Seriously. I can’t cope with too much faff so I pick a simple dish I’ve cooked (and loved) before. Save the jazzy showstoppers for bake-off.
Add some ambience with a Spotify playlist and make sure you and your guests are in a chilled, chat-friendly atmosphere.
I know that sounds silly, but our flat is very minimal so if we stuck to sitting on the bits of furniture officially designated for sitting we’d be uncomfortable and forced to talk across rooms (we have one sofa!)
So we always have a few floor cushions so people can sit and chat easily before we sit down to eat.
So, not a natural host but a reluctantly okay one nonetheless. Are you a natural host or, like me, do you prefer to be waited on?!
Share your top hosting tips in the comments!
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