Dinner Parties


I love dinner parties.  I love setting the table, getting out the china, glasses, linens, silverware, doing flowers and planning the menu.  What makes a dinner party really great is making sure that the setting is just a backdrop for great conversation.  My favorite ingredient is always having someone I don’t know as part of the mix.  Introducing new people, experiences, and perspectives keeps us open to possibilities not to mention the goodwill that is created from inviting a stranger into your home.

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It’s hard work and sometimes when I am washing 150 glasses at 1:00am, I am tired and I know that there will come a time when doing dinner for 24 at the drop of the hat won’t be in the cards.  Not there yet.  When I think about allocating my energy, dinner parties will be at the top of the list.

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We often serve our grass-fed, ranch raised Wagyu beef as a main dish.  I can always count on that being a popular entrée.  This summer has been especially fun because of the garden.  Going to the garden to pick Swiss chard for sauté, fresh romaine, vine ripe tomatoes, radishes, onions, carrots for salads, delicious summer squash, green beans and eggplant and corn is just fun.  The taste of fresh garden food just can’t be bought.  There is nothing as good as a warm, red, ripe strawberry from the garden.  I hardly recognize what passes for a strawberry sometimes in the store.

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Dinner parties, like life, are seasonal.  Montana summer evenings are so special.  Those moments when there is no wind, perfect temperature, no bugs, good people and great food are so special.  And of course, the wine.

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As summer comes to a close, another birthday looms closer; I have made a conscious effort to treasure the work of a dinner party.  Like healthy food, hospitality enriches our lives in ways that can’t be measured.

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Liz Marchi


Liz Marchi lives on a ranch in Polson, Montana  with her husband Jon. She is the Fund Coordinator for the Frontier Angel Fund and spends a lot of time thinking and learning about entrepreneurs, the economy and Montana’s unique place in the world. She has three daughters and a stepson and daughter and a grandchild.  She graduated from Hollins College and is entering the final quarter of life…unless we go into overtime.