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Dining In or Out in Ajijic, Lake Chapala, Mexico

Dining In or Out in Ajijic

When my husband and I lived in Toronto we did a lot of entertaining at home. Almost every Friday and Saturday for years, we entertained friends and clients in our home. We did all of the cooking ourselves and quite enjoyed it. This in the days we had a nanny looking after the children and doing most of the every day cooking. So cooking was fun and not something we had to do every day. Another reason, of course, was that in Toronto, it was extremely expensive to take 8 or 10 people out for dinner to the wonderful restaurants.

Since we moved here we find that, for us, dining out is a much better choice for entertaining friends and clients. I had forgotten everything that goes into a dinner for 8 in your home.

First you have to plan the menu, then shop for the menu and unlike Toronto you are very fortunate if you manage to procure everything on your list.

Then there is the buying of flowers, candles, wine, pre-dinner drinks, after dinner drinks, specialty coffee, cream and an array of sugar and sugar substitutes.

Table linens have to be selected and washed and ironed. Crystal and silver have to be polished and plates have to be washed, as in our case we had to use our Christmas china as it was the only 8 of anything that matched. Of course, we required matching soup bowls, salad plates and platters and covered vegetable servers. Naturally, wine coasters were needed for the table along with cruets for under hot plates. Delicate serving bowls for the condiments and butter were needed and a basket and linen for the hot crusty rolls.

Who sits beside who is of paramount importance and music has to be carefully selected to appeal to all ages. We cannot even agree what to listen to for a family game of cards let alone a formal dinner party.

Everything had to be perfectly timed to get to the table hot and suitable pauses between courses were allowed for the smokers.

The evening did go off without a hitch and it only took me three hours to clean up the after party mess along with four loads of the dishwasher. I could not ask my wonderful maid to do the cleaning up as it was ironing day for her and she had a full basket of shirts and pants to iron as the men in our family wear only the best cotton.

I am still getting the wax from the candles off the tables inside and out on the terraza and I seemed to have lost a champagne flute.

We have so many wonderful and economically feasible restaurants here in Ajijic, Lake Chapala and I for one am going to happily continue to frequent them and leave at home entertaining to others.

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