February 11, 2008
Preparing for a guest
I'm not sure why, but I love having guests. I seem to have a gifting in hospitality or something, because I just light up and get excited about having people into my home, especially if I get to cook for them.
I want to clarify that I don't have an attitude of trying to impress others with my home or abilities as a cook. In fact I try hard to make it seem like we're just ordinary people, like anyone else, but want to make others feel very welcome and special. Depending on who is coming determines how much I do to my home to prepare and what kind of food I plan on making.
If it is someone who has never visited before, I generally take a few more pains with making sure the clutter is out of the way, the nooks and crannies are cleaned, and all the rooms nicely straightened so they can 'tour' the house if they so desire. If it is my family or friends that visit often, I'm a bit more relaxed about it, but I still want things to be clean and tidy.
Anyways, we have a guest coming this Wednesday evening. He is in the mission field and we also graduated together. (err, I only had 13 people in my class, so we're pretty good friends) He has been in Nicaragua and other areas off and on for a couple of years now, teaching in Bible schools with YWAM. (youth with a mission, go here)
Anyways, we spent a lot of time together because we were involved in the same things, but over the years have lost touch. I found him through another person and we've kept contact for the last year. So, all that to say, we're excited to talk to him about his ministry and outreaches. It's hard for him to believe I have three kids- so he's looking forward to meeting them.
Since I have a lot going this week with packing and speech therapy, I am getting ready in small chunks. Today I was able to tackle a few 'hot spots' that were bothering me, as well as doing the dusting, wiping down, cleaning appliances and tidying things from the weekend. Hopefully tomorrow I can do the shopping and Wed. I'll do the cooking and bathrooms/floors.
This may seem weird, but generally, if someone is coming in the evening, I wait till the afternoon to make sure floors and surfaces are cleaned. If I do it early more than likely the girls will sticky them up again before evening. I also pick a meal that is fairly simple to make and get it done early in the day. He told me he likes most everything and loves ethnic food. I love ethnic food too and have had a craving for some Moroccan. Since roasting a whole chicken with vegetables is pretty simple, I will do that and change the ingredients a bit. Rice is nutritious and simple, but I will add saffron, nuts and dried fruits. I'm still not sure if I will make pita bread or not, but we'll see, it's pretty easy. A salad can be made early in the day and chilled. I try to think of what stresses me the most, and get as much of that done early in case something flops and I need to run to the store or something.
My day will run something like this:
After everyone is ready for the day and we've eaten breakfast I will tackle any clutter,
straighten bedrooms and clean bathrooms.
Make bread dough and chickpea salad
work on stuff for trip
after lunch, prep the chicken with the spice rub and let marinate
make sure all dishes are washed and tablecloth is ready
vacuum and spot mop
wipe down anything that needs it
roll and bake bread-when done put in plastic baggie to stay soft
when it's getting closer to evening, make sure everyone has clean clothes and faces, including me!
preheat oven, take chicken out while I cut up the veggies, then arrange around chicken and bake
make whatever beverage we're having
set table with fresh flowers (pretty cheap at walmart)
I have a recipe for a spice rub, which I am actually planning on toasting the spices whole then grinding them in our coffee grinder since I learned how to clean it out. (grind some uncooked rice in it, then wipe it out) I've always wanted to do that, but didn't want to have to buy a separate grinder. I will put onions, zucchini, bell pepper and some carrots around the chicken to roast. I've had an ounce of saffron for over a year and haven't used it yet, so I will cook the rice in it with some dried fruits and almonds. (probably apricots and golden raisins or dates) I will make a chickpea salad with tomatoes, red onion, feta cheese and a dressing that has lemon and cilantro in it. Dessert will either be an apple tart tatin (upside down apple pie) or chocolate souffle. I've never made either of those before, but they look fairly simple, and I will get some ice cream just in case...
Again this may seem elaborate, but I'm used to cooking 'weird' things and it's really not that big of a deal at all to me. Timing things well can be the stressful part, so the salad, bread and dessert are done ahead of time, as well as setting tables.
My goal is to let people know that they are special, that we enjoy taking time during the week to share with them and that we're glad to get to know them. Hopefully they will want to come back! Our children get sooooo excited when someone comes over, and it's much easier to entertain than to go to someone else's house for me, since I have three small children that like to touch things :)
Posted by Anneatheart at 1:52 PM