Skip to main content

Hospitality for the Rest of Us: Pantry Rules




I don't have a lot of stuff sitting around in my pantry. I don't even have a lot of room for extra stuff, but there are some things I try to keep on hand in small quantities.

I read a book on hospitality once where a family kept an entire closet and fridge full of kid friendly junk foods, to help draw they neighborhood kids to their home with their own children as primary hosts. I loved the idea, but the reality of an introvert living that lifestyle is a little slim. I would instead say to introverts, your regular guests that drop by on occasion can have a special treat on your shelf. If you're super organized, you can keep a journal/folder of friends favorites and purchase one or two before they come over.

My main thing I would encourage you to have is coffee and tea fixin's. Keep not just sugar in the sugar bowl, but a couple packets of pink, yellow, and blue if you can find them. Have dry creamer for emergencies and cream around if you know folks are coming. If you don't drink coffee, that's okay. Keep the makings of hot tea around instead. A box of Lipton will do the job nicely. Just brew directly in the cup.

Most folks are not tea snobs. You will occasionally run into one, but they are a gracious bunch and will choke down even the worst cup of tea, because they know it's about the company more than the beverage. I'm not sure if the same is true for coffee snobs. Most of those will prefer to not drink than to drink instant. I would say in this realm, if you are unwilling to drink the coffee you make, then just do without.

Why warm beverages instead of keeping cold ones? You can keep cold ones, that's fine. Warm beverages take time to make and they let the person know that they're worth the time. So don't rush these things, put a pot on to boil instead of popping it in the microwave. Sit down and wait with one another. It teaches us so much to wait.

Here's a little secret weapon I have to share. Fresh baked cookies, ready in about 15 minutes. Granted it takes more time to prep, but totally worth it. Mix up a batch of your favorite drop cookie. Chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal, your choice. Bake about a dozen, you deserve some tasty goodness for your labors. Now, take a piece of wax paper, Saran Wrap or parchment and put it on a baking sheet and drop the remaining cookie dough on the sheet. They can be right next to each other, generally a batch will fit on one sheet. Now place this in the freezer for an hour or so. Once they've hardened, peel them off the sheet and store in s freezer ziplock bag. When you're ready for fresh cookies, pull a few out and back as usual, adding a few minutes onto the baking time. Easy peasy. Fresh baked cookies in minutes. And raw cookie dough to taunt you for days. These don't stay tasty forever, stupid freezer burn, so bake them off and make a new batch every few months.

That's it, that's my suggestion, keep things for how other people take their coffee and have cookies as a staple in your freezer. Who wouldn't say yes to hanging out and sharing some cookies and coffee?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Stories from the Kitchen: Taste and See

I celebrated my birthday last weekend. It was wonderful and the leftovers left me with a question or two. Find out what they are and how I'm currently answering them in this week's podcast. Stories from the Kitchen Season 2, Episode 2: Taste and See Notes from the episode: Taste and See by Margaret Feinberg Dad’s New York Cheesecake (from the back of a Philidelphia Cream Cheese package) 1 ⅞ cups graham cracker crumbs ¼ to ½ cup butter, melted 1 cup sugar, divided 2 lbs cream cheese (4 packs) 2 large eggs (lightly beaten) 1 tsp vanilla 2 tbsp cornstarch 1 cup sour cream Preheat oven to 450F Mix well graham crackers, 2 tbsp sugar, and enough butter that the mixture holds together. Reserve 2 tbsp for garnish. Press mixture onto bottom and sides of a greased 9-inch springform pan. Chill in the freezer while preparing the filling. Mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth and light. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and cornstarch until just blended. S

Sweet Caroline by Kelda Poynot

  First off, my copy of Sweet Caroline  (aff link) is not a gifted review book, I spent my well earned Amazon No-Rush Rewards money on this book. Second of all, this is not my standard close door kind of romance. Third of all, this is a really fun read. Caroline is a hard working young lady that is doing all that she can to make ends meet and to get her graduate degree. Part of that work is renting out the room above her garage. When she answers the phone of an unknown number, believing it's a future tenant, she has no idea how much her life is about to change.  The young man on the other end of that call, Hashim, is tall, dark, and mysterious in all the right ways. The story quickly moves from the girl next door falling for a stranger to a fight for their lives. And in true real life fashion, those fights aren't just with external enemies but the ones we carry within.  It's an entertaining story of Caroline and Hashim, discovering their love for each other and fighting to

Project 52: Good Friday is low key

We had a wonderful Holy week, full of celebrations, one of my favorites was the Good Friday celebration.  But it was emotionally and physically draining.  By the time that evening rolled around, we weren't up for much of anything.  We ended up having a game night on our bed with crackers, cheese and salami.  It was fun, we played cribbage, and In a Pickle (which we determined is not for two people with little to no brain power).  I'm looking forward to this Friday because Joel is off the entire week, which should mean more energy and maybe something creative!