For several years after I graduated from college, I lived with three of my best friends in an apartment roughly the size of a soup can. This did not deter us from frequent, overly ambitious dinner parties—excuses to make four pastas in a row, really—with themes like "It's Springtime in Italy, Even Though We Only Have One Window and It Faces Into a New York City Alley."
While our spatial limitations may have been one challenge, the real hurdle we faced was an epic spoon shortage. We had only nine (10 if you counted an antique melon-baller someone got in a yard sale, which we'd regularly dragoon into service), and accordingly, would have to perform a dramatic spoon collection between each course, for cleaning and redistribution. (No matter how hard we tried to accumulate more, for some reason, we'd lose existing members of our spoon brigade at the very same clip.) And don't even get me started on our fork count (six, at our time of departure from the rental).
While my memories of those dinner parties are fond—and feature cheesy bites aplenty—the fact that I spent roughly one-third of the time washing and re-washing our utensils suggests a different tact would've been wiser. As I look toward holiday party season (my spoon count now at a healthy 12, but still!), I think it can be a cautionary tale. I was inspired by a recent Food52 Hotline thread to make all of my parties this year the best kind: silverware-free. Fewer dishes, less fuss, and way more fun.
Here's what I'm planning to serve:
What's your go-to no-silverware party dish? Let us know in the comments.