Last year I hosted a Tupperware party, which went down a storm , if only for all the wrong reasons. The Tupperware lady was, to be blunt, a complete nutter and I found myself kicking her out at 11.30pm because she just didn’t want to leave. That said the Tupperware shape-sorter (whose design doesn’t appear to have changed since I had one as a child) I bought for the Pocket Dictator for Christmas has finally turned out to be Toy-of-the-Week, so there were benefits. As a concept, I like the idea of this sort of event, primarily because I like having people come to my house rather than having to go out. I camouflage what is blatantly laziness as a need to nurture and make people feel welcome. I also like the benefits of being able to look at things before you buy them, without having to endure hideous customer service in store from a tweenager you wouldn’t let out of the house never mind give a job to.
This year I heard whispers on the NCT circuit of Pampered Chef parties and knew it would be my kind of thing (did I mention I also like being able to shop from my sofa?). Quite by chance I met a mother who ‘did’ such parties, who assured me that Pampered Chef was the new Tupperware. In fact I’d say it’s the new Lakeland-Tupperware hybrid, but that’s by-the-by. So last night, after issuing a ridiculous number of invitations to women I barely know from the playgroups, and dispatching DH to have curry with the husband of a party attendee, I immersed myself in cookware porn with a group of like-minded women.
What is good about the new breed of home-based parties, is the way that products are demonstrated with actual usage rather than a “this-is-our-grater-touch-it-isn’t-it-super?” show and tell. Our lovely host Jennie made us Waffleberry pudding in a fabulous stoneware dish whilst we chatted and drank wine and half-paid attention. I thoroughly recommend he recipe, whether or not you use the PC products. It was so easy to make and tasted so heavenly I had the rest for breakfast this morning. We also got to test little Tartlets made in a mini-muffin pan. Which gave me numerous ideas for what you could make in teeny tiny pastry cases: no doubt my ideas will appear here at some point. Probably not until the evil oven has been replaced. It managed not to kill any of the food last night (mainly due to overzealous checking on my part) but I’m not taking any chances.
All of which is to say that, although it seems incredibly 1970′s, a homeware party in your home is worth trying. There aren’t any crowds, any surly shop-attendants, any screaming children (if held after bedtime of course.) You can have them at a time that suits you. And you get yummy food made for you. Food and shopping without leaving the house. What could be better?