An open house is my favorite type of party - both to throw and to attend. As the host you can invite anyone and everyone as you go about your daily life. You can send out formal invites, create a Facebook event or have little flyers with the details in your pocket to hand out to everyone you see. Your dearest friends who you count on being there early and stay after everyone has gone home. An old neighbor you run into at the grocery store. The friend of a friend of your drinking buddy and your mate on the mat next to you at yoga class. And then you shop and tidy and pray you have enough beer and bed space for coats. And that people show. But they always do. Maybe more than expected filling the house with noise and chaos. Maybe only those cherished few friends for a fireside chat, leaving behind a case of unopened wine to get you through the rest of the winter. Being a guest at an open house is the best because there are no expectations. You can arrive late and leave early. Hang out in the kitchen while the party swirls around you. Or find a new audience for your best travel tale or Dad joke (“I’ll take the soup!”)
Best of all, an open house is all about variety - of people, opinions, ages (Ok, boomer) and familiarity. And, of course, the food. Luckily the South Wedge has everything you need to host or attend an open house this holiday season. Grab some cans or growlers of your favorite brew from Swiftwater along with a stromboli or a crowler from Tap and Mallet to impress your beer buff buds to some champagne from Time for Wine. Keep the party simple with pizza and wings from Little Venice along with some pillowy Buffalo tofu bites from Dicky’s that even the carnivores among you will love. Grab some fresh vegetables from Abundance Co-op and some dip spice blends from Stuart’s Spices.
Early risers can put on a brunch buffet with bagels and lox, coffee and mimosas, a breakfast strata or Crème Brule French Toast (a recipe you can find in our very first issue of the SWQ!). Don’t forget to pick up some vegan donuts at Misfit Donuts to round out your menu. For you night owls, set up a late-night candlelit dessert and champagne soiree with Cheesy Eddie’s cheesecake covered in raspberry sauce or their delicious treats, a selection of chocolates from Hedonist or a centerpiece cake and mini pastries from Premier Pastry. If you’re lucky enough to get invited to one of these open house parties, don’t show up empty handed. Grab some bark from Hedonist or a repurposed item from Historic Houseparts or a gift card to Tru Yoga to help your host alleviate the holiday stress. Pick up a holiday bundle of botanicals from Bradley James Designs for your host or to adorn your table.
So, open your house to family, friends, and acquaintances. Whether it’s pizza or pastries, to quote Sondheim, “don’t be afraid that it won’t be perfect, buddy. The only thing to be afraid of really is that it won’t be.” And if you’re lucky enough to be invited to an open house, bring your A game and put away the phone, leave your politics at home; smile, be cheerful and get ready to meet your new best friend.