Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

Paella-palooza 2010

Written by Patti on September 8th, 2010

Good Morning, Darlings!

I know a lot of you have been waiting patiently for the details of our paella party. Here you go!

The party started the day before when Vickie arrived and Jeff, Crystal and Teague joined us for some brainstorming about the fire and flow of the party. Pizza and beer followed. A pre-party is always fun.

Sunday we all woke early and Eric got the fire started. Early, y’all. It was blazing by 10 a.m. and was ready for the paella pan by 3 p.m. And then Eric cooked. And cooked. And cooked some more. We have realized that the paella still takes about 3 hours to prepare. But we were ready this time.

That fire was super hot

Guests were scheduled to arrive at 4 p.m., with the early exception of our very besties, Holly, John, Danny, Crystal and Teague. Jeff had been with us all morning supervising the fire. Please don’t leave your fires unattended.

The girls and I set up a couple of bars and snack stations around the house. We ended up taking all the snacks outside, because that’s where the action was. The weather was so glorious, no one wanted to miss a second of it. Plus, all the entertainment was watching Eric make the paella. And watching Holly make beer margaritas. What? You’ve never had a beer margarita? They are awesome. Here’s the recipe (Holly, please correct me if I am wrong):

Holly’s World Famous Beer Margaritas

4 Coronas
1 can of limeade
1 cup of tequila

MIx together. Drink a bunch.

Pre-dinner drinks with Joel, Curtis and Teague

And then, dinner was served. We had everyone get in line with their little red and white dinner boats for paella, garlic bread and John’s yummy pickled tomatoes.

Close Up!

At this point, I would say there were about 40 guests. The line should have died down, but then there were seconds! And more folks rolling in. By the time the party was 3 hours in, there was no more paella. So word to those attendees of next year’s soiree – you need to get there before everyone eats your share!

The guest – oh the guests! It was so much fun seeing everyone. From high school friend, Kathy, to Erika from BluLabel Bungalow, Barry Belcher – artist and bon vivant, Spencer and Allison from Black Tie Barbecue, Christy from Peas For Prosperity, all our fabulous neighbors and friends. It was such a fun night.

Dessert? Crystal and I made umpteen handcrafted popsicles during the week. There was Mexican Chocolate (the biggest hit), lemonade, strawberry-lemonade-blueberry, mango, strawberry and mango-lemonade. It was the perfect little sweet something at the end of the meal.

I bet you want to see some more photos, yes? Well, ok!

Vickie and Holly

Kathy and Bobbi

Christina and George

Jay and Michelle

The Girls

Damon and Claire

Scott, Jesse & Walt

Barry and Me

Spencer, Allison and Me

Danny, Valerie and Holly

Eric, Calvin, Steve & George

Vickie, Christy & Holly

And then, it was over. We all had a wonderful time and I can’t thank Vickie & Holly enough for all their help with everything. Thanks to Crystal and Teague for their fab stand-up cooler (wherever would we have put all those beverages?), John for those fab tomatoes, Emily for the yummy olive biscuits, Christina for all the Farmer’s Market goodies, Lauren for the roses, Ann for that swell cookbook, Calvin & Steve for that scrumptious candle that smells exactly like Autumn!, Jane & Ben for the funky cool wine carrier and Malbec and everyone else for sharing the evening, the food, the drinks and the laughs.

Only 362 more days until the next one!

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Shop Boys – Party Like A Rockstar


14 Comments so far ↓

  1. Christy says:

    I had such a great time! Great people, great food, great drinks, FAB Sunday. Thanks, as always, for the invitation. I just adore you and your fabulous husband.

    Sorry I missed Eric cooking – will definitely have to arrive much earlier next year!

  2. Patti says:

    Christy, glad you could join us! xoxo, P

  3. OMG I can’t believe I missed it!!!!

  4. Chioke says:

    This looks like the best one yet! I can’t believe I missed it. And did someone get a new camera- the pictures are SO vivid. The next time you guys throw something, let me know ahead of time. Atlanta’s only a 2 hour flight away (I can be there before the beer gets cold)

  5. Patti says:

    Susan – Next time! xoox, P

  6. Patti says:

    Chioke, you were so missed! To give you plenty of notice, the Christmas party will be December 11. Join us? Love you! P

  7. tami h. says:

    The paella looks divine…and it sure seems like everyone had a blast. Sorry I missed it – thanks for thinking of Mike & I 🙂

  8. Traci says:

    Your parties always look like so much fun – can I crash one sometime? 🙂 Although, I suppose it wouldn’t be crashing if I ask in advance – haha!

  9. Patti says:

    Traci, Thanks for your sweet comment. Of course we would love to have you!! And I am loving your blog. I think the giant Gingerbread man is from Shrek.

    Lets meet for lunch!


  10. Traci says:

    Thanks for the blog compliment (and permission to crash a party – haha) 🙂 Ah, the Gingerbread Man is from Shrek! I’ve only seen bits and pieces of Shrek, so never would have guessed! Your Dragon*Con photos were great by the the way! I wish mine had turned out better, but our spot on the street turned out to be directly across from the sun, so it’s good that the photos came out at all! For many, I couldn’t even see what I was taking a photo of on the camera display, so was just hoping to get it!

    It would be wonderful to do lunch sometime – just let me know when!

  11. Patti says:


    We adored having you here. You are welcome anytime!!


  12. Patti says:

    Barry, thanks so much for coming and bringing the best gift! Love Kathy!! And I cannot wait for us to do the “Dirty Dishes” episode. It is going to be a blast! xoxo, P

  13. Patti – Jorge + I had a wonderful time! Great food…and I am so happy you enjoyed your farmers market finds!


  14. Patti says:

    Christina, We adored having you and Jorge with us. We must get together again soon! xoxo, P