Entertaining & Gathering

The 7 Things I’m Doing to Prep for Hosting My First Yom Kippur — Yom Kippur

After many years of attending Yom Kippur dinner at my parents' house, I am finally hosting break fast at my home. Because I finally have a house. For the last 14 years I've lived in a tiny New York City apartment with a kitchen table that barely fit four people, so I've never physically been able to throw any type of dinner party.

Now that I have an actual dining room with a table that can fit up to 10 chairs comfortably (!!!) I'm ready to be the host for many holiday dinners to come. First up? Yom Kippur.

This is kind of a cheat meal to throw because the stars of the dinner — smoked fish and bagels — are made by someone else and purchased in advance. But there's still a lot of planning that has to be done, especially considering it's a big meal after a full day of abstaining from food and drink. Most families serve dairy and fish because they're lighter on an empty stomach, and since you're not supposed to be cooking on Yom Kippur, everything ideally should be able to be prepped beforehand.

Here is what I am doing in advance to make sure my first big dinner in my new home is a success.


10 Things to Know About Your First Yom Kippur — Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur, which translates to the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day of the Jewish Year. It's a serious holiday. The point is to ask G-d and your fellow humans for forgiveness so you can start the year with a clean slate, and deem yourself worthy of another year on earth. (NBD.) The intense period of reflection is accompanied by a day-long fast.

A cheat sheet to a holiday with such gravitas is a good idea for first-timers, so here are 10 things you should know about your first Yom Kippur.


Stop Phubbing Friends and Family at Dinner: 6 Tips for Getting Everyone off the Phone — Table Talk

Whether it's out to dinner with friends or at home around the table with family, on a romantic date with a partner or at a cocktail hour with coworkers, we have all experienced phubbing. In case you haven't heard of the term before, phubbing (phone snubbing) is when someone ignores their real-life companions in favor of their phones or devices. A 2015 study found that 46.3 percent of its participants admitted to being regularly phone snubbed by their loved ones. What's more, 22.6 percent said it caused serious issues in their personal relationships.

One thing is clear: It's time to put the phones down and have fun interacting with each other again, and a great place to start is at the dinner table.


The Stress-Free Way to Have People Over Tonight (or Any Night) — A New Way to Gather

How much do you love having your home filled with friends and laughter and drinks and food? But how stressful is it to plan a party? What will they eat, what kind of batched craft cocktail should you make? Can you get the house clean in time? Never mind, let's just get everyone to meet at a wine bar.

There's always, always a reason to not have a party. And it is approximately as likely that you will discover a wrinkle in the time-space continuum as it is that you can catch even a couple, let alone a party's worth, of your busy friends free all on the same night.

So it was that my husband and I had moved into a house made for gatherings, a rambling old Victorian, and — other than the "before" party we hosted the day after move-in (a whole other story!) — we'd not had a proper party in the year-and-a-half-plus since.


Slow-Cooked Hoisin and Ginger Pork Wraps with Peanut Slaw — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This recipe very handily fed almost a dozen people at a recent weekend get-together; there were even leftovers. It's also a very easy and delicious recipe with terrific flavor. And yet it takes less than half an hour to put it all together. Perfect menu for company!


10 Wine Rules You Should Break Right Now — Wine for All

I've been thinking a lot about wine lately — in particular since I am trying to drink less of it. (This is not because I am on a particular health kick, but rather in preparation for my upcoming trip to Portugal, where I will certainly drink muito vinho.)

But really what's been on my mind is how wine isn't this precious thing that requires coddling and careful sipping and appreciation with words like "saddle leather." Wine is a drink that should make you happy — and that's it. There really are no other rules.

With that in mind, here are 10 rules should you totally ignore.


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