If I ever do another dinner party marathon like that (and I seriously vow never to schedule so many dinners in one week), here's what I'll do differently:
• Organize my shopping and decide on the menus ahead of time, not on the fly.
• Compromise — maybe we don't need to drive all the way across town to get that one elusive ingredient (but try telling that to my husband).
• Start cooking early and pace myself.
• Make the desserts before my fellow cook spreads his stuff out on every surface.
• Check our oven in the morning to make sure it's working.
• Read recipes over, especially if I've never made them before, so the scenario is fixed in my mind before I begin.
• Buy more cream than I expect to use (I forgot the strawberry shortcake had cream in both the dough and softly whipped on top.)
• Don't get too complicated with the cocktails unless I have a designated bartender.
—S. Irene VirbilaCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times