Monday, September 16, 2013

HOSPITALITY HELPERS...

Just about the time you feel like hospitality is no big deal, the preacher gives a sermon on it! We've been having some lessons in church about being neighbors this fall.  HOSPITALITY was the topic this week, with a big emphasis on Abraham and how he entertained angels, and God (Genesis 18)!  I loved how we were reminded that it doesn't matter what kind of place we live in, we can entertain.  Abraham entertained in a tent!  Not to mention that he was 100 years old!  He used what he had, and to me something as important, he took time to visit with these "strangers."

You know, hospitality comes in many shapes and forms and there's no one right way to do it.  Maybe you speak kindly to a neighbor or take someone out for coffee, or maybe you have them in your home for a whole meal.  Hospitality is important to me and my husband and may look easy for us, but it is not.  I'm laying it out here, folks.  We stress about it too-even after all these years.  BUT I always wanted to be the mom who had lots of kids over and had lots of fun parties.  I made a vow if this house deal worked for us thirteen years ago, that we would use it for God's glory and host the youth group and others since we are close to the church building.  But it still occasionally causes conflict when we are getting ready.  I have to remind the boys to pick up their stuff and clean their bathrooms.  My husband and I fuss over whether or not to get out the ping-pong table (it's heavy), whether to eat on the patio or inside, etc...

We have found one thing that helps make hospitality easier.  We have a GO-TO COMPANY MENU.  Almost all of it can be made 3 hours ahead of serving time and is also good for those on a gluten-free diet or vegetarians.  Here's our "company menu" but I'm sure if you put a little thought to it, you can create one that works for you every time!

SMOKED CHICKEN BREASTS
SPINACH SALAD WITH MANDARIN ORANGES
MOM'S BAKED BEANS
OVEN FRIED POTATOES
HOT ROLLS (RHODES)
BLONDE BROWNIES/ICE CREAM

What I love about this menu is that my husband takes care of the chicken.  We smoke it on our grill, then put it in the fridge and reheat just before serving.  The beans and potatoes can be readied ahead of time and put in the oven on timed bake.  The hot rolls rise all afternoon and only require 15 minutes of baking time.  The salad dressing and sugared almonds for the salad can be made ahead of time also - same with the brownies.  Only the salad need to be put together at the last minute.  So there you go.  Low-stress dinner!

Here's a couple more hospitality helpers:

I keep this plastic box filled with paper goods - leftovers from previous parties and for stocking up when I find a good sale.  So if I don't want to do dishes, no worries!

We aren't coffee drinkers, but we got this to accommodate our guests.  I do use it every morning to heat my water for tea, though.  It's an easy way to have choices of different hot drinks for guests.

Here's something interesting.  I noticed Pioneer Woman's blog today was about having company too - and guess what?  Her menu looked a lot like mine!  That's right - me and Pioneer Woman...two of a kind!  Without all those silly cows and awesome photography and stuff!

WHAT ARE YOUR HOSPITALITY HELPERS?

7 comments:

Michelle said...

Luckily for me we mostly just have high school boys over! They'll eat about anything, but I still try to have the living room and kitchen looking tidy. I'm working on not getting so stressed out about a clean house, but it must not be working since I spent about 2 hours picking up toys today since we have a sitter tonight....lol! I always think we need to find younger families to have over or be brave enough to invite some wise couples from our church over....

Aubrie said...

I love your idea of a 'paper goods stock-pile'!

Amy said...

Love this post! We have some go to company hospitality recipes also and I have a paper goods tub just like that that we use for company most of the time too. It is stressful and tiring sometimes but usually really worth the effort. People love to be in the homes of hospitable people.

Erin said...

I have a cabinet just like your box of paper plates, forks, cups, etc. Love feeling prepared - and not doing the dishes!

Lori said...

I did the same thing when we moved here in 2000....after living in a teeny tiny house where no one would fit (although we did have some company...but mostly family).....that I made a vow to God that I would use this home for His glory and have people over. We have, but can do more. It's the "out of our comfort zone" part that is hard. It's easy for us to have those we know, but have had strangers from time to time. However, there was a reason (like our kids' kindergarten class/parent graduation party), not just inviting those we don't know. It was such a great sermon! I'm so thankful we were visiting there Sunday!

The 5 Arbuckle's said...

Thanks for the tips. I used lots of paper plates when my whole family was here. I still ran the dishwasher 3 times one day.

The 5 Arbuckle's said...

Thanks for the tips. I used lots of paper plates when my whole family was here. I still ran the dishwasher 3 times one day.