Meal tip Monday – let’s talk hosting styles

I know that a lot of people just don’t ever have people over because they think they have to be a good cook or baker.

Wrong – you don’t.

I think it’s more important to know what your hosting style is and embrace it.

this friend loves the hosting but buys all the food

If you’re only comfortable buying food, then embrace it. I have hosted people by cooking and by not cooking. Recently I hosted book club and I really intended to cook and bake (from scratch!) but I was SO BUSY with work I knew I just couldn’t add anymore stress to my life.

So I bought crustry bread, a rotisserie chicken, salad and an apple pie which we had with custard. It was delicious and not at all stressful.

I’ve also hosted book club at someone else’s house who had a bigger garden (for physically distancing purposes) and ordered pizzas to be delivered to my friend’s house. I also ordered online shopping of dessert, salad and drinks and that was that. No stress.

this friend loves to bake, and baked both the Swiss roll and shortbread

If I really want to see people socially but we’re not very good friends yet, I invite people for tea and cake. I usually serve tea/ coffee and muffins, or I buy a pie from my local grocer. At Christmastime, casual gatherings are tea and Christmas fruit mince pies. So easy but still says, “I value your company and friendship and want to see you.”

However, if you like to cook and bake, then you embrace that too. Use the fact that you’re hosting to try a new recipe you’ve wanted, or invite people over as the impetus to try something new, kind of like inviting people over to spur you onto clean the house 🙂

By the way, if you don’t like to have people in your house, invite people over to a park. This is not my style because I don’t like the sun or the outdoors, but I know many who consider this method their favourite type of hosting.

What is your hosting style?

In South Africa, at the time of writing this post, only about half a million people are fully vaccinated. We are still meant to be meeting only outside, in well-ventilated spaces with physical distancing in place.

Stress-free entertaining

Remember my Reluctant Entertainer post?

Well, I just decided that, as Sandy said, if I figure out my style and go with that, I should be fine.

I do set a beautiful table (there’s something so satisfying about the order of sequence of cutlery, plates and glasses) and I also love mixing and matching different placemats, plates and serviettes so every time the table looks slightly different.

But I’m not the best cook in the world.

The difference is that now I’ve embraced that as part of my style 🙂

So my style is casual (what else can it be with twins running around?!) and I’m of the opinion that since no-one is coming over for my cooking, I might as well relax about it.

And I have.

On Thursday a friend emailed me and asked if we were doing anything the following evening as her husband was up in Jhb and he’d love to see us.

Well, these are 3 am friends and we would ALWAYS love to see them (or even just one of them).

I knew I didn’t have time to even shop let alone cook but we made the plan.

And do you know what?

We still had a wonderful time fellowshipping, even over Debonairs pizza and milk tart 🙂

My challenge to you is this –

Think about someone, anyone, you haven’t seen for awhile and invite them over, even if just for coffee and biscuits (cookies).

Are you up for the challenge?

Who will you invite and by when?

(I’m a coach; I can’t resist getting specific!)

Are you a Reluctant Entertainer?

I stumbled upon the Reluctant Entertainer blog and started reading her posts on perfectionism and entertaining.

I think so many of us women aspire to be Martha Stewart with perfect everything that when we fall short, we feel inadequate.

I liked what I saw on the blog and so I ordered the book.

It is a beautiful, hardcover book with gorgeous, glossy pages.

Sheer pleasure for a tactile girl like me!

I’m also very visual and I loved looking at all the photos of food and of easy ideas to decorate your table.

Basically, I’m terrible at reviewing books because I take no notes but I have put some stick-e-tags to mark off the things that spoke to me.

Here they are:

“get out of the jail cell of perfectionism by asking yourself, “am I having people into my home to impress them or to bless them?”

(Like Sandy, I also believe perfectionism is a jail cell that will keep you in bondage)

“Authenticity is honest and doesn’t try to needlessly impress others. And the great thing about being authentic is that it attracts other authentic people – those who are soulful and who make the greatest friends”

(authenticity is one of my highest values)

Some of my take aways:

I love how she says that when you apologise profusely for things (food not being perfect, this not good/ that not good, etc.) you make your guests feel uncomfortable. I will stop doing this immediately 🙂

I also love how she tells people to figure out your style. If you’re a relaxing brunch type of gal, go with it. It doesn’t all have to be supper! Who knew?

We used to have people over for suppers in the pre-twins days and now I honour their sleep (after waiting for it so long!!!) so we don’t have people over in the evenings. I’m now a lunch-time person. But I’ve been freed to have people over for tea and muffins and not feel guilty about it.

Sandy says, “true hospitality is not about being perfect, cooking a fancy meal or spending a lot of money. Rather, it’s about an open door and an open heart.”

Amen to that!

Are you a reluctant entertainer who is trapped in perfectionism?

Do you know your entertaining style?

P.S. If you related to anything I said, either get the book or subscribe to her blog (there is so much insight in the comments too).

P.P.S. I’m not being paid to write this review. She doesn’t even know I exist 🙂

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