It’s finally Autumn. My absolute favorite season. Next to long walks in the woods, bike rides and apple pies, I particularly enjoy nice dinner parties with good drinks and even better friends during the Autumn season. But that doesn’t mean I have to compromise on my Zero Waste values when hosting, quite the oposite. I love discovering new decoration options, coming up with delicious Fall recipes from produce I bought at the farmers market and making the best out of the cold and rainy days with homemade baked goods, music and candles.
Here is how I host a dinner party Zero Wast style:
Keep it simple
What I have learned is that a dinner party is not the place to try out new recipes. I always opt for something I know works, something simple that requires little kitchen time once the guests are here.
For appetizers I usually just prepare a wooden tray with fresh veggies and dip, or a simple salad, cheese and olives.
For the main dish I like everything oven made that can bake while the guests arrive vegetarian lasagne or homemade pizza. My other favorites are homemade sushi, veggi risotto or tortillas.
For desert I like to lay out fruit and cheese, digestive wine if I am feeling fancy and some dark chocolate.
For drinks, I like to stick with one fancier drink (usually gin) for the evening but always have a few bottles of organic beer and wine at home just in case.
2. Opt for second-hand
And not just because it’s cheaper, but because a second-hand shop or flea market is the perfect place to find unusual and original designs.
There is also nothing tackier than using disposables when it comes to plates and silverware.
In my opinion, the food should be the main attraction on the table which means that I like to keep my table scape designs simple.
I like to use clear cotton or linen napkins, unicoloured dishes and simple glasses and garnish the plate with whatever nature offers during this colourful time of the year.
If you don’t have enough plates, try a second-hand shop or borrow some from a friend.
We have bought all our glasses, cups and mugs second-hand and have even found a beautiful organic cotten table cloth for 2 Euros- Score!!!
3. Use potted plants
Small pottet plants give a nice athmosphere and they don’t have to be discarded later.
I like the idea of creating memories using certain potted plants that will remind you of the occasion long after the guests have left.
4. Buy local
Buying local not only saves you a serious coin, it also supports your local farmers market, promotes package free shopping and keeps recipes interesting. Produce in it’s season is usually also richer in taste, which your guests will appreciate.
Living Zero Waste is all about being present. After I have prepared the necessary and the guests have arrived, I tell them to help themselves, feel at home and take whatever they need. I don’t want to be the kind of host that runs around stressed and not able to have a conversation all evening because I want everything to be perfect. Once the guests are here, I let go of responsibility, enjoy the evening.