but apparently I can.
Last night's progressive dinner* proved this. After volunteering to serve the salad course, I borrowed folding chairs from work, cleaned cleaned cleaned like crazy, opened my doors to 10-20 ladies from Oikos and had a marvellous time. This marked my first major experience of "entertaining", particularly of entertaining a large group of people who have, with the exception of maybe two guests, never been to my apartment before (there was a Passover feast in 2003 that we prepared with 10-12 guests in mind, of whom only one showed up--I'm not sure if this counts).
I lit candles and everything. The cats (and Mitch) were banished to the bedroom for the duration of the salad, as, without exaggeration, women were seated elbow to elbow around our itty-bitty living room. There was exactly enough salad mix, exactly enough bleu cheese, exactly enough grated carrots, sliced radishes and pickled beets, and a little extra dried cranberries. It was like the miracle of the bread and fish, but on a smaller scale.
The living room looked like this (pre-guests):
...and the salad bar looked like this:
*Progessive dinner = a meal whereby the intial course (i.e. the appetizer) is served at one person's house--in this case, at Sarah's. The entire party then relocates to the house of the second hostess for the secondary course (i.e. salad, at my house). After the plates are wiped clean the party relocates once more to the home of the third hostess for the third, and main, course (i.e. Jess's house, for homemade pizza), before winding up at the last post (i.e. Ashley's mom's house) for dessert (i.e. cream puff pastries with pumpkin ice cream and chocolate genache). It's great fun for introducing a large group of people to one another, over delicious and diverse courses of the same meal. I heartily recommend it.