Entertaining: Just the Guys
As a guy, you’ll have two opportunities for in-home entertaining:
- If you’re single, the possibilities include entertaining a female or having a group of guys over.
- If you’re married, your spouse will presumably help you with entertaining other couples. So your solo hosting will be limited to the guys.
Since entertaining a woman deserves an entire column unto itself, we’ll concentrate this week on having the guys over as a group. While you’ll likely host one or two friends for the random get-together, an event that includes six or more dudes will most likely revolve around a big game: the MLB playoffs or World Series, a college or NFL football game, the NBA finals and so on. The World Cup, not so much.
My qualifications for giving you these Strategic MANeuvers? I have many sports-loving pals, a large TV and a bachelor pad where guys can enjoy a “no chicks/no kids/no wimps” environment. Inhibitions are left at the door.
A night for you and your towel-snappin’ buddies.
Male friends usually aren’t real fussy. Just give them a chair, a beverage, some chips and dip, and a TV with a game on it. They’re in heaven.
With those elements in place, all else takes care of itself. But for special events (playoffs, finals, Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows, etc.) you’ll want to do something special, which boils down to one thing: real good food. You’re not going to have a sit-down meal, so you’re left with arranging a buffet. Here are your options, ordered by degree of difficulty.
Have each guy bring one food item. All you need to do is clear off a serving table or your kitchen counter, put out some plates and silverware, and make some space for the grub.
Make specific food assignments. If you don’t, everybody will usually stop at a gas station and buy a Family Size bag of Doritos.
Breakout: 2-3 different entrée options, a green salad, a pasta or veggie “side” salad, 2 different desserts.
FAIRLY EASY: You buy the food.
My go-to option is Chinese take-out. Everybody likes it. Plus there’s no need for salad or side dishes since most meals include vegetables and rice. The only extras: a few dessert options. Pass the hat to help cover your costs … you ain’t no Rockefeller.
Other crowd-pleasing alternatives:
- Ribs and slaw from a local BBQ joint. Get plenty of napkins.
- Take-and-bake pizzas.
- A sushi platter (Costco has a huge, good one for $20), although this isn’t an extremely macho food.
- A bucket or two of Kentucky Fried (a last resort).
HARD: You cook.
Only go this way if you feel very ambitious and/or you enjoy cooking. I’d personally rather spend time with my guests than fuss in the kitchen. Also, guys don’t care if the food is home cooked or store-bought, just that it’s good. Suggestions:
- Lasagne with Italian bread.
- Pizza. There are lots of bake at home options, so it’s technically home cooked.
- Chili or jambalaya with cornbread is especially good for football games in the winter. You can make a big pot of it.
- Portable “grab & eat” desserts, like several kinds of cookies.
Guy friendly cooking resources:
- Dad’s Own Cookbook.
- The 4-Ingredient Cookbook
- The 3-Ingredient Cookbook
If anyone wants to drink something out of the ordinary (Fresca, Courvasier, etc.), they can bring it. You should spring for some high-end beer – this is an “occasion” after all – and a couple soda options. Pre-cool them in the fridge, or better yet, on ice in a cooler near the seating area. Have a few non-alcoholic options.
Don’t let friends drive drunk if they’ve imbibed at your home. Drive them yourself, have a sober guest take them, or call a cab. A $40 taxi ride is better than a $5,000 DWI or accident.
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