Pandemic Hawaiian Dinner Party

“Let’s make the theme Hawaiiian and I’ll wear that shirt my sister gave me as a present after her trip to Maui,” my husband, Brian, suggested. For 2 years that cotton royal blue short sleeve shirt has hung in his closet. It’s not surprising he’s never chosen to wear it. It’s covered with bold yellow island flowers. But last Sunday, this festive, loud shirt became the catalyst for our dinner party.

First, I planned the dinner guest list. It felt safe inviting Brian’s sister. She lives a few miles away and has been safely staying at home during this time. And my daughter, Bridgit, too, who lives nearby and has been following the safety guidelines to a T. Should I add more? I think not. With just four, I can easily arrange the living room furniture so all can sit safely at a distance. Same goes for spreading out the seating around our long rectangular dining room table. If this were another time, my own mom and sister plus a few girlfriends would definitely be on my list But for this dinner party, four was enough.

Next, I planned the menu. My google search of Hawaiian food resulted in hours of clicking and perusing. Finally, I chose. Mai Tai cocktails, a Hawaiian dip and a watermelon-pineapple salad for starters. Then Hawaiian chicken, pineapple and peppers cooked in my cast iron skillet and served over rice for the main course. With a list of ingredients and my mask, I headed to the grocery store and the liquor store. As Brian swiffered and vacuumed, I prepped all the food in the kitchen. I diced the yellow, orange and green peppers.I cubed the pineapple and watermelon. I layered the ham, crushed pineapple, bacon bits and spring onion on top of the cream cheese for the dip. I sliced oranges to garnish the cocktails. 

Last, I planned my dinner party outfit. For months, my major decisions each morning has been which shorts I’d wear with which t-shirt. For this dinner party, I actually tried on several different summer, flowery dresses from my closet. I picked the plum sundress and chose my fancier sandals to wear. Then I opened my jewelry box and chose a dangling pair of earring to wear. The amethyst stone at the tip matched my dress perfectly.

All evening, my husband looked vacation-relaxed wearing his flowery island shirt, as did all the women dressed up in their summer Sunday best. We sipped our cocktails, enjoyed the colorful meal and chatted. As my sister-in-law departed she said, “Thanks so much. Tonight felt normal again.” I had to agree. Already, my wheels are spinning to plan the next dinner party.

I wonder what the theme will be. Any suggestions?

Click each word to see the recipe I used for my Hawaiian dinner party:

Mai Tai
Easy Hawaiian Dip
Hawaiian Chicken

7 thoughts on “Pandemic Hawaiian Dinner Party

  1. Suzanne says:

    Sounds like a lovely dinner gathering! I tried to click on the recipes, but they aren’t linked :-). Hope you have a great weekend!


  2. Fran McCrackin says:

    Your descriptions of clothing choices, food chopping and furniture arranging bring this piece to life. You effectively show us COVID choices as you describe that “it felt safe” inviting your sister-in-law, and Bridget “following guidelines to a T.” (I love that expression- I guess it comes from dotting every I and crossing every t!) I like this piece as a great COVID reflection- not ostensibly about COVID 19 limitations, but so revealing of the thought processes we make at this time. And the best part- staying safe but finding A new normalcy and joy.

    Liked by 1 person

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