Ask Ina

I always set up buffet style for entertaining yet struggle as to the appropriate timing and manner to clear the dishes after dinner. I never want to break up the momentum of the conversation yet do not feel so proper about leaving empty finished dinner plates in front of my guests. Any tips would be appreciated as, it seems no matter what I do guests end up getting up.

From Mary - Captiva, FL

I usually set up a buffet rather than serving my guests. But when it's time to clear the dishes and serve the next course, I actually ask my friends to help, and that way, they feel like they're on the team! I think people don't feel comfortable being waited on by their friends and would prefer to help. I hope that makes enteratining less stressful for you!