Dinner Parties, Manila-style!

Foreign Service LifeSocial Gatherings
August 23, 2009

Nick and I hosted what I would consider our first Manila dinner party.  Well technically it was lunch but we served enough food for an army.  An Army of 12, that is!  We invited over our long-time friends (we met in January 2009) from Nick’s training class, along with their families.  I swear, all we did was eat for 3 hours straight…. Norma and I had worked long and hard on the menu.  We ended up doing a compilation of our favorite dishes from her first 3 weeks with us.  The menu was as follows:

Rice (of course – no meal is complete without rice)
Vegetable Balls (vegetarians in attendance)
A Vegetable Medley
Thai Basil Chicken Curry
Sweet and Sour Pork
Mango Chimichangas and Fruit Salad for Dessert

Dinner Party


I know I’ve extolled the wonderful virtues of my helper beyond what I’m sure you wanted to hear.  Her performance today was again nothing short of spectacular. I stood at the kitchen in awe watching her stir one thing while cutting another and so on.  That level of cooking multi-tasking is just not in my genes…. I can’t lie, it was pretty fantastic to have the benefits of having people over without the downside of cooking and clean-up.  What I didn’t really think about though was how much my role as hostess would change.

You see, in my past life, one of the things I most prided myself on was being a SUPERB HOSTESS (part of the Miller family etiquette training program).  Additionally, in the world according to Sarah, we believe: “A good hostess is a busy one.”  Translation: You should be running around throughout the entire party and if you’re not then you’ve failed at what you were socialized to do!  So imagine my surprise when I found myself paralyzed during the party.  What was I supposed to DO at the party if I wasn’t cooking, serving or busing dishes???  I’m sure all the guests thought I was a bit off my rocker, walking around straightening up decorations and refilling glasses when they were already quite full.  I even ran out to the grocery store quickly when Norma realized we were missing an ingredient (it made me feel very useful).  I know, I am seriously messed up!  It was far more difficult to just sit and enjoy the party – in fact, I found myself quite conflicted throughout the entire thing.  Please let this be one of those things that I adjust to over time…


The hit of the party was the new glass “flip-flops” that I debuted.  A perfect 3-in-1: Functional, Decorative and Buzz-worthy!  They were a birthday gift from my fabulous sister Beth.  There was much sadness when all 4 were claimed early on.  Thankfully the boys had some local San Mig beer which couldn’t use a flip-flop!  Check out the rest of the pictures from the party on SMUGMUG!



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  1. Rick Vaughn says:

    I love that picture, of the San Mig Super Dry on the US flag coaster. Nice.

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