This weekend I ran the gauntlet of Masonic installations and holiday parties. Actually, there are a lot more ahead of me, so I guess I can say we just got started on them! But, the reason I mention it is because both of these things invariably involve lots of delicious food – food before, food after, food during!
Saturday we had an early afternoon and an early evening Masonic installation, followed by a party at a friend’s house. That’s 3 holiday parties in one day – all of them with attendant buffets or food service! Sunday was my husband’s installation as Master of the Lodge, which meant that we were the ones setting out the food spread! Here’s how I handled it and what I struggled with:
The first one on Saturday was easy because there was a brunch offered before the ceremony, and we just skipped it and showed up at the ceremony time. Easy! The second one was a little harder because the food was a meal after the ceremony, and it would have been rude to just leave straight away, so instead of taking a seat and denying each course as the servers came around, we spent a little time standing and chatting with people before whisking ourselves away to another party while everyone else ate.
The party Saturday night was quite a bit more difficult because it was a Pearl Harbor Party, with Hawaiian delicacies and fruity rum drinks and little delicious food bombs scattered throughout the house – bowls of M&Ms, big platters of pulled pork..I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. My husband got me a club soda with a couple of slices of lime and an umbrella to sip on, and I mostly stayed away from the food table but after about two hours we were both running out of willpower. It was getting harder and harder to NOT just absently pick up a handful of something delicious and ruin almost 3 months of hard work. Around 10:30pm my husband leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Take me home, I can’t resist any longer,” (he meant the food!) and we left right quick.
Sunday was a Big Deal for us as my husband was being installed as Master of the Lodge, and we had to put on a reception. I had planned ahead by hiring my friend Joyce who has recently started a catering company to handle all the food and hall setup. This was a huge lifesaver, on one hand, because I didn’t have to handle any food at all. It was a little harder, on the other hand, because she’s an amazing chef and all of the food looked and smelled WAY BETTER than anything I could have put together had I done it on my own! I managed to not eat any of the magnificent banquet she put on by keeping my hands busy, always having a non-caloric drink in my hand, and limiting the time I spent in near proximity to the food tables.
Towards the end of the evening, though, the ability to resist really gets depleted and there’s a point where it’s prudent to simply absent oneself from the situation. This is definitely something to be vigilant of! Fortunately I was able to manage the whole weekend without any straying…didn’t get much exercise though! I still feel like it was a total win.