Having a home gathering this weekend ’cos you miss your fam and friends? While you will have to keep the affair small with only 5 visitors allowed per household a day (from 8 May till the end of the month), you can still go big-up on hosting by being smart, effective and creative about how you do it. Be the life of the party with these 8 life hacks that are as good for a 5-people party as they are for a party of two (or even just you).
Wrap Your Drinks In A Wet Paper Or Dish Towel Before Refrigerating Them
Your guests are coming in the next half-an-hour and you need your bottled or canned beverages cold fast? Simply wrap wet paper towels or dish towels around them and put them in your fridge; take them out after 10 to 15 minutes. Just don’t keep them in there for too long, or worse, forget about them until hours later, otherwise you might risk getting them completely frozen or having the bottles or cans becoming too brittle to handle.
Freeze Fruits To Put In Wine
Instead of putting ice cubes in your glasses of wine, use frozen fruits. The wine will be suitably chilled, not diluted, and the fruits will add visual interest, taste and, erm, some chewiness, to your poison of choice. Try green grapes with white wine, raspberries with rosé, or experiment with any “pairings” that might tickle your fancy and your guests’ taste buds. Though, we would avoid durian because not everyone likes this king of fruits and there are still some health concerns out there about consuming durian with wine.
Dry Your Soggy Sandwiches
Everyone likes a sarnie spilling over with fillings and taste, not so a limp and soggy one. Avoid having “wet” ingredients such as sliced tomatoes, cucumbers or oily fried meats turning your sandwiches mushy by first placing these ingredients between pieces of kitchen paper for a couple of minutes before putting them onto bread. This will help to soak up any excess liquid, juice or oil, instead of having the bread absorb this excess. Extra tip: Slather some mayo, butter or cheese spread onto the bread slices first to act as a kind of barrier against such “moist” ingredients.
Serve Your Coffee, Cubed
For those who like their kopi peng not watered down with ice or with extra strong taste, try using frozen coffee cubes instead. Simply pour your fave coffee blend into some ice cube trays and put into the freezer and… that’s it! Throw them into hot or cold cuppas, or mix along with milk to make ice lattes, and serve them to your thirsty kopi kakis at the party.
Make Literal Cookies And (Ice) Cream
Kids will love these desserts. Get a few tubs of ice cream and a few packs of large cookies, making sure that the tub’s circumference is smaller to that of the cookie. Put the tubs into the freezer, and take them out only when the kids come round. Cut the frozen ice cream while it is still in the tub into small round slices. Remove the packaging around these slices and stick a slice between two cookies to make an ice cream sandwich (or you can use a bread slice to fold in half and hold the ice cream like a taco, too, if you are old school like that). Portion these goodies to the toothy tykes and watch them turn into a mess. And quite possibly, so will your living room, too. But, that’s okay, ’cos you know, happy kids make a happy mess, we mean, home.
Put The Straw In Strawberries
Serving a bowl of strawberries? Provide some straws along with; you can use them to remove the stem. Simply insert the straw through the bottom or top of the fruit, push and – voila! – the stem should emerge along with the straw through the other end. Might need some sturdy straws (hardy paper, bamboo or metal, please, no plastic and no soft silicone ones) and some practice – well, if nothing else, your guests should have some fun coring fruits!
Line Your Bin With Plastic Bags & Newspaper
Homemakers with experience should know of this old-school practice. Use your right-sized plastic bags to line your dustbins and take a few sheets off of that pile of old newspapers to place at the bottom. Why? So that the bins can hold wet food better, with the papers absorbing food juices, thus enabling you to clear and clean your dustbins easier just by tying up the plastic bag and disposing it. No plastic bags or newspapers lying around? You can also use any unwanted papery materials such as your old shopping carriers, magazines or even large-sized junk mail. You should also “double-bag” just in case you have extra heavy or wet trash (especially after a house gathering), just so the bag won’t tear and spill its contents when you are throwing away your rubbish.
BYO DIY First-Aid Kit
If you are holding an outdoor garden shindig where there are mini-mes present, you might want to have some kind of easy-to-carry first-aid kid-friendly kit ready. You can have a DIY one – just stuff some patterned or cartoon character-plastered plasters, portable hand sanitisers, mozzie sprays, insect bite creams or ointments, wet wipes, tissue paper, extra face masks and whatever else you think necessary into a large-enough pouch and off you go. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also set up a makeshift DIY First-Aid “station” at a small coffee table (but try and make it colourful and fun-looking with cute signage, balloons and sweets for after-treatment treats) so that the kiddos know exactly where to go to find these items, find out how to apply or use them, and learn how to take care of themselves and each other, too.
Featured image: Shutterstock