Entertain without spending the entire day in the kitchen

These snacks take only 15 minutes to make
Wednesday, December 15, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 3:42 a.m. CDT, Saturday, June 28, 2008

Friends just arrived on your doorstep, and you don’t have any food prepared to serve them.

Before you start making those apologies, check out what is in your kitchen. Most people keep things in their cabinets that could be thrown together to make an appetizer or some small snack.

Many people also stock up a little more during holidays on foods and ingredients that could be made into such foods.

During the holiday season, Ara Kaye, senior reference specialist in the State Historical Society, keeps crackers and cheese around her house in case of such emergencies.

It always seems like people end up gathering in the kitchen instead of the living room. Instead of letting your guests sit around the kitchen, get them up and have them help prepare the appetizers or the main meal.

Mary Grigsby, a rural sociology professor at MU, has a recipe for goat cheese balls that she has her guests help with. She has them create an assembly line with each person doing a different part of the recipe.

A snack or appetizer can be as easy as celery stuffed with veggie cream cheese, olive pimento cheese spread, or just plain peanut butter.

Grigsby suggests softened cream cheese with peach or some sort of berry jam spread over it and crackers to put it on. Everyone is impressed with it, she said.

Sometimes things planned for a party don’t turn out as well as expected. At the time, such occurrences aren’t funny.

Elizabeth Anderson, a Columbia resident, tells a story about when she was in Iran at a dinner party for 60. She had made huge bowls of dressing and when she went to put them in the oven, the dressing soured because of the turkey stock in it.

She and a friend quickly put some cornbread together and got it cooked in time for dinner.

“It was a catastrophe,” Anderson said. “It wasn’t very good, but it worked.”

There are many quick recipes that can be done to provide food for a party or spur of the moment get together among friends. There is most likely something you can do with the things in your kitchen that doesn’t require running to the grocery store.

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