Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hospitality doesn't have to be hard work

Couple of people here last night expressed amazement that we did not cancel the picnic because of the rain. I figured, we had the food, people had prepared food, kids were planning on seeing their friends. Why would we cancel?

This was probably the easiest big gathering I've ever had. We had a bunch of hot dogs and frozen hamburgers - yes, the frozen patties sold at Costco. We had bread products for them, and condiments. Everyone else was bringing the rest.

This was a true pot-luck - people were asked to bring a side dish or dessert, and something to drink. It wasn't coordinated to be sure there were ample salads, fruit, and brownies. I had a big bag of salad greens in the fridge in case no one brought salad, but you know, we could have gone one meal without a major veggie. There were tomatoes, lettuce, and onions for the burgers anyway; they count, you know? People brought:

macaroni and cheese
green salad
potato salad
white bean dip with tortilla chips
blueberry bread
fancy chocolates

Nice, well-rounded meal, eh? As for drinks.... oh, I loved having people bring drinks. I never think of drinks since I mostly drink water and why should anyone want anything else, right? Well we had regular iced tea, raspberry iced tea, root beer, limeade, coke. We did make coffee afterward.

I had a foldup table in the kitchen (where an island might go someday) for all the side dishes. It was tight going around it, but it worked. Next time I won't bother, but will just push the kitchen table against the wall, remove the chairs, and use that for serving. No one ate at it anyway.
People either hung around outside by the grill (those would be your hungry seminary students) or crammed into the living room on the couch and folding chairs. Once it started really raining, everyone had eaten and folks were standing around in small groups talking.

There was a time when I made all sorts of excuses for not inviting people over: yard too messy, house too unfinished, too much work, house too small. Bah. Those really are just excuses. What are yours?

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