Thursday, January 16, 2014

Shortcuts can make you a better hostess

Some people make entertaining seem so effortless. Talking to Vicki Payne recently made me realize a lot of it comes down to having reliable shortcuts.
Payne, who lives in Charlotte’s SouthPark area, is the host of “For Your Home,” PBS’s long-running, nationally broadcast home decor show. She’s got an impressive a list of schemes for saving time and work, some of them from projects she’s done on the show.
If you collect silver serving pieces, as she does, you’ll like the simplicity of this one. She lined a deep drawer in her pantry with fabric that prevents tarnish. (She walks you through the steps in a video below.)
The other tip is that Payne shops for silver pieces at estate sales and other places where she can find attractive prices. She cleans each item and tucks it away inside the lined drawer, and it’s ready to use. That’s one less thing on her to-do list for the next gathering.
With the holidays still fresh in our minds, most of us can see the value of shaving tedious work off of next year’s celebration. Otherwise, it’s tempting to just leave the silver in the drawer rather than to find an hour or so to shine it as the party draws near.
So take a tip from Payne. Spend a little more time this year looking for simple solutions to jobs that eat up your time when you need it most. I’m guessing Payne is already getting a jump on Christmas dinner.

Sullivan: and @sullivan_obs on Twitter