We crowded 10 people around our new dining room table last night. It was one of those very rare moments in our current stage of life where there were 3 times as many adults as there were people age 5 and under. That being stated, we were able to actually eat our dinner together, and talk, and laugh, and enjoy each other’s company. I savored each moment just as I did the delectable zucchini brownies for dessert. I knew the gathering around our table would be rare as our visitors were out-of-town family. I wanted to capture the moment in my mind’s scrapbook so I could return to that page in years to come.
I’ve come a long way in 13 years when it comes to hostessing. When we were first were married and The Narrator would suggest having company over for dinner, I’d grab an empty flour bag and start hyperventilating. By the time our dinner guests would arrive, I’d be exhausted and barely able to enjoy the dinner I’d slaved over. Not to mention the kitchen cleanup I’d have afterward, and the fretting over whether or not the food was any good (probably wasn’t).
Somewhere over the past 5 years, I figured things out and started enjoying hostessing. I think motherhood may have had something to contribute. Along the way of having babies, you figure out how to multi-task and get things done, and in general you give up caring what people think of you, and whether or not the meal is perfect. Is it edible? yes. Will they die from eating it? no. Something in it whole wheat or vegetable oriented? yes. Then it’s all good. I found some tried and true recipes that were easy to make and easy on cleanup. I learned to run the dishwasher and empty it before company arrives to make cleanup a snap. I figured out how to time the cooking of dishes so everything would be ready at the same time. I learned to do the baking first, cleanup as I go, and chop all the vegetables first. In fact yesterday, I even had time to read the kids a few stories to entertain them before they went crazy waiting for our guests to arrive.
Dinner was apparently lip smacking good, and one guest gave me 3 stars. I didn’t ask out of how many stars, however 🙂 I went to bed smiling that night. I didn’t break anything, burn anything, or forget the ice. It was a banner day for me. And whenever our home is filled with laughter and good food, I can’t help but smile. For me, it was a million dollar moment realizing how far I’ve come in this wife/mothering/hostessing business.
Oooo – I just had a friend give me zucchini from her garden. I’ve been looking for recipes other than zucchini bread. Please share your delectible zucchini brownie recipe!
Hey remember when we had so much zucchini one year that we came up with a zucchini recipe book? I had a copy of it around here somewhere. Hmmm now where did it go? You could even make milk out of it and freeze it for use during the winter months. Glad you’ve got the entertainment down, I never did, it still puts me into a panic if someone comes to eat. 🙁
Ann Kroeker says
I like your relaxed approach to hostessing–I’ll bet your guests love it, too. I had to repackage the whole idea in my head, as well, and I’ve come to think of it as hospitality when I invite people into my life without feeling that everything needs to be perfect. It’s about being together, in each other’s lives, real and without pretense. That’s more important than fancy dishes and name tags cut from handmade paper.
sounds like a great dinner! I still panic about hosting anyone other than my family…i have desires to be better at it though!
Karen, here’s a link to the zucchini recipes http://annkroeker.wordpress.com/2010/07/15/food-on-fridays-zucchini-recipes/
Mom – I vaguely remember our zucchini recipe book, but I don’t remember making milk out of it, really? If you find that book pass it on!
Thanks Ann, and thanks for the recipes that topped our evening off! I love the idea that it’s inviting people into our lives, that’s a perfect way to view it.
Lisa, it definitely took me quite awhile to learn to relax and enjoy the time!
I would imagine your 2 years of monthly pizza potlucks had NOTHING to do with it!!! 😉 Ahhhhhh…how we miss them (and you).
Oh man, we miss pizza nights and our FL crew so much! We haven’t started them up again, and it won’t be the same without the Crone Creations!! We definitely got a lot of practice with the pizza nights. The first few wore us out until we figured out a system! It was worth it!