(photo: L-Mrs. A; R- Mrs.B)
Today's Topic: Hosting Guests / Little $$$
God did not bless me with a biological sister, however, more than 10 years ago, He blessed me with Mrs.A.
She and I have not only become the closest of friends but we've also become sisters. Even our children think of themselves as cousins. Because of the poor and sinful choices I made as a teenager and young woman, I lost most of my extended family. But, a few short years after accepting Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour, God blessed me and our family with Mrs.A. She and hers have literally become our extended family. I will forever praise and thank the Lord for blessing us with her.
This afternoon the littles and I had the pleasure of hosting Mrs.A for lunch! On her way to our house she picked up a movie AND some dark chocolate covered raisins -- yum-0. I've often visited with folks who often feel intimidated in the area of hospitality. They don't think their entertainment skills are polished enough, they worry they can't afford elaborate meals, appetizers or snacks OR they simply worry their home is not decorated well.
Today, I want to drown those fears and anxieties. First of all, when others accept an invitation to your home they are choosing to spend time with you and your family. Most do not make this decision based upon the meal or entertainment you are providing. Very few worry about your decor. Others come into your home because they desire to spend time with YOU.
Now, of course we all want our homes to be clean and neat (not necessarily spotless) when hosting others. The one thing our guests do not want to experience when they visit is a hostess who is so worried about making everything perfect, she doesn't have any fun or have any time to spend with them. If we don't have time to visit with our guests or if we don't have a pleasant time ourselves, then what's the point of hosting others in our homes? It took me many years to learn that when guests arrive at my home, they are there to spend time with ME. Do they enjoy a tasty meal? Of course. Do they feel more comfortable if the house is tidy? Of course they do. Do they expect or want me to nervously run around trying to make and keep everything perfect while they are there? NO! Is an expensive, extravagant and above board elegant dinner party the reason they came? NO!
This afternoon I served my dear sweet sister, Mrs.A, stuffed eggs, taco soup, garlic bread and water or iced tea - inexpensive, tasty, filling and SIMPLE. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal. Mrs.A enjoyed snuggling under a throw quilt, sitting on a pillow on our living room floor while OG played with her hair during our viewing of the movie she brought. We all leisurely snacked on, yum-o, dark chocolate covered raisins. We had a FABULOUS afternoon. It was easy, casual, relaxed and filled with the blessing of just being with those who love you. If you often or occasionally find yourself intimidated by hosting others in your home, please, take a deep breath and keep it simple.
Here's my VERY frugal and simple taco soup recipe:
1 lb. ground meat (today I used elk)
1 med. onion, chopped
1 qt. chopped tomatoes w/ juice
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
3 6 oz. cans water
1 batch taco seasoning (recipe here: http://herpeculiarlife.blogspot.com/search/label/recipes%3A%20homemade%20mixes )
1 bay leaf
broken tortilla chips
snipped green onion OR fresh chives
Place soup ingredients in large soup pot. Mix well. Cook over medium heat for 45 min. - 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.
I prefer to serve the toppings on the side so everyone can add whatever and however much they personally desire.
ground elk: free (a friend blessed us with more than 50# earlier this year)
tomato paste: $.20
taco seasoning: .$34
stuffed eggs: $.50 (cost is for mix-ins - we sell our extra yard eggs to pay for chicken feed = free eggs)
garlic bread: $.96
iced tea: $1.60
TOTAL: $7.12 OR $1.19 per person
(note: if you had to purchase the meat and eggs your cost would increase to only $9.61 OR $1.60 per person.)