The Easiest Way to Cut Down on Holiday Party Dishwashing

Fewer dishes = more fun.

November  6, 2018
Photo by Mark Weinberg

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:

Hearty Toasts & Friends

Veg & Salads at the Forefront

Things on Skewers (or Toothpicks!)

Soups in Shotglasses & Tea Cups

All of the Desserts, Minus the Utensils

What's your go-to no-silverware party dish? Let us know in the comments.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Ella Quittner

Written by: Ella Quittner

Ella Quittner is a contributing writer and the Absolute Best Tests columnist at Food52. She covers food, travel, wellness, lifestyle, home, novelty snacks, and internet-famous sandwiches. You can follow her on Instagram @equittner, or Twitter at @ellaquittner. She also develops recipes for Food52, and has a soft spot for all pasta, anything spicy, and salty chocolate things.

1 Comment

Eric K. November 6, 2018
Oh my goodness, that Peruvian avocado sandwich looks so delicious.