With Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner we will all have many opportunities to practice hospitality.
I’ve been married over thirty years and have cooked hundreds of meals, some quite fancy, and some quite plain. We’ve hosted our church picnics where we served over 100 people and had intimate dinners with just another couple. There is really no right or wrong way to make meals for guests, other than the food should be edible of course.
I’m going to share a few things I’ve done to take the anxiety out of hospitality.
- Work on 2-3 meals that you are totally comfortable preparing.
- Practice on your family so they are almost fool proof and don’t cause you anxiety about your ability to prepare them.
- When we moved here ten years ago I knew we would be inviting families over from our new church so we could get to know them.
- I planned one easy to make menu that I served each time we had someone new over. I did keep track of who we had over so I wasn’t preparing the same thing several times for the same people.
- I have a couple of indoor meals and one grilled picnic type meal that I can put together easily.
- I try to keep the ingredients on hand for these meals.
- Let your guests bring something if they offer.
- I know I’m always more comfortable when I can bring something to share.
- Ask ahead of time about allergies and preferences. If allergies are a problem for your guests perhaps they would like to bring something that their allergic person can eat without concern.
- Leave some preparations for them to help with.
- This is something I struggle with. In this article Rejection and How to Deal with it I talk about some things I wish I had done differently with my mother-in-law.
- Check out our book Family Favorites for the Holidays for other holiday ideas.
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