“April showers bring May flowers”, but it is fairly safe to say that May brings forth all sorts of celebrations. Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, First Communions, Graduations, Confirmations…not to mention your standard family get-togethers, and impromptu friends dropping in to say, “Hi!” are all perfect reasons to entertain. That said, I am always amazed how many people are petrified with fear at the idea of hosting or entertaining. Trust me when I tell you, that with simple organization and a little foresight, you can host a charming “any occasion” with little if any fuss, with a few delicious items from your pantry.
If you ever open my refrigerator, you can always find these staples in there: first, I always keep a bottle of champagne or sparkling cava in my fridge because I want to be ready for any reason to celebrate! You don’t have to keep a bottle of vintage tete de cuve Dom Perignon, either. There are countless delicious sparkling wines from all over the world (I love Spanish cava, although I’ve recently discovered sparkling wines method traditionelle from Argentina that are spectacular!) that are extremely reasonable in price and delicious to drink. You can always rest assured that you will find a variety of cheese in my dairy drawer, as well; they range from hard to soft, goat, sheep, and cow, sweet to salty…the variety is endless. I always keep no less than three choices in there to keep things interesting. The last secret entertaining weapon from the cold storage is my dry sausages and jamones or sliced deli meats; again an interesting variety is the answer, so sliced jamon Serrano (or my guilty pleasure pata negra), dried chorizos and salamis, all from spicy to sweet, wrapped in herbs. It really is all about what you like!
Let’s head over to my dry pantry now; I am going to run down a list of staples you should always have on hand to take the stress out of celebrating.
Sweet roasted red and yellow peppers
Stuffed cherry peppers
Olives in every guise and color
Marinated artichoke hearts
Pickled vegetables (string beans, beets, asparagus,etc)
Nuts (Spanish Marcona almonds, smoked almonds, shelled pistachios, spiced pecans, etc) all come in jars of many sizes to accommodate your entertaining needs.
Have a choice of crackers and dry flatbreads on hand (or pick up your favorite baguette), and you have got yourself a killer party without ever having to turn on the stove! Honestly, nobody has to know you haven’t been working like a fiend to put this together, right? I’ll tell you what…it can be our little secret! ¡Buen provecho!!