If we were meeting in person, I’d offer you a glass of wine as we acquainted ourselves. We’d fumble choosing our words initially, palms slightly sweaty, but the wine would eventually take off the edge. We’d laugh, you’d give me ideas, and I’d inspire you. We’d eventually part ways and, the next day, try desperately to remember the details of our conversation.
But we’re not meeting in person, where the buzz from a few glasses of Pinot and the precise parts of an introduction become hazy and fade after a few hours. This first post will always be here for you to find, word-for-word. It will be held a standard for quality, but even more so for learning and future improvement. That’s the romantic yet scary thing about “firsts”.
The first time I tried to host my own little get-together, I was admittedly in over my head. I’ve always been an all-or-nothing sort, so I, the Junior college student who had survived off of instant Ramen noodles, dove right into the deep end of entertaining. I decided to make pepper-crusted filet mignon and bacon-wrapped scallops from vague online recipes. Can you guess how that went?
I wish I could tell a tale of a meal that went down in history. That the filet mignon was juicy and flavorful. That each strip of crisp bacon stayed elegantly wrapped around tender seared scallops. But that’s just not how it happened.
I overcooked the steak. The pepper burnt so horribly that a thick, stinging smoke filled the house. My seven housemates and I had to open all of the windows and evacuate until the smoke cleared enough for us to breathe. I pushed through the lack of oxygen on to the scallops, which, as you might have guessed, I also overcooked. I was on the verge of tears from the lingering pepper smog (read: embarrassment) as I served my friends. They somehow managed to eat the entire, rubbery meal, and gave me some great advice, convincing me not to hang up my apron for good just yet. I kept at it and improved quickly. In fact, just over a year later, at my sorority’s graduating ceremony, I very happily accepted a custom-created award as the “Most Likely to Become a Gourmet Chef”.
Shortly after moving home from school, I started working for Host the Toast. Host the Toast is a retailer of entertaining supplies— cocktail shakers, glassware, cookbooks, cheese trays, and more. In my time here, I have happily researched and learned about hors d’oeurves, wine, cocktails, beer, spirits, and entertaining in general. My bosses and coworkers showed the same enthusiasm, and shared with me much of their own knowledge.
We wanted to share this knowledge with you, and got so excited to do so that we decided to make this blog live before we even finished the store site. Hopefully you’re as excited as we are. (If we were meeting in person, we’d “cheers” to that, by the way.) We want to help you along with your “firsts”, like hosting your first big soiree, your first attempt at homemade sangria, your first time pairing your cheese platter with fruit and wine, throwing your first baby shower, or maybe your second, or maybe your third. Really, whether you’re a rookie entertainer or a skilled host, we just want you to have a great time the first time you try any of our recipes or advice (and every time after that). You can learn more about Host the Toast by clicking the “About Us” link. You’ll also be able to visit the online shop soon via the “Shop” link in the navigation bar, but for now it’s just you and me.
Speaking of you and me, I could talk about myself for hours, but this blog is really about us. I can’t do this without you. Let me know about yourself in the comments. What do you want to learn? What was your biggest entertaining disaster? Success? I need your input. After all, this is my first time blogging, and we’ve only just met. Let’s learn together and the “firsts” won’t be so scary anymore.
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