i had my sister (my bestfriend) over to spend the weekend, while another other sister’s boyfriend was occupying her. (her room doubles as a guest room)
ever since i made the cozy kitchen’s chicken and dumpling recipe from her book a year of cozy (given to me by a dear friend…and it’s a book i treasure above all my home themed books) i’ve wanted her to taste it and when the opportunity for her to not just taste but make it couldn’t be passed.
cooking this recipe with her will be a memory that i will always treasure…
her asking questions, me explaining.
just stepping back and encouraging her to bravely mix the dumplings alone.
watching her drop the dumplings in the sizzling stock.
witnessing her joy and surprise on seeing the fluffy warm dumplings, after they cooked.
her eyes when she tasted this truly “comforting” winter soup.
it was a lovely night…
the last morning of october is now history. it was a lovely one. october should (seriously) get the first-place award for containing the perfect sunsets and dawns.
but it ended with it’s best display…a crispy atmosphere, pink colored sky line and a slice of a golden moon…i found myself holding my breath while gazing at this wonderful sight.
october is my favorite month…it holds the anticipations of the holiday season (I enjoy the expectation of the holidays more than the actual days themselves). its chilly. inviting all the sweaters and boots to appear. but not too cold to include gloves and frozen noses. soup and other warm food begins to grace the tables. it’s positively wonderful!i took advantage of the bright, full moon, dawns to ride my horses…around the newly harvested fields. forgetting for a moment that i was an adult and would have to be in the office within the hour. instead i marveled at our shadows, created by just the moon. the first birds songs. the smells and all the other little joys that comes with being with nature while it wakes. i love those moments (they don’t happen as often anymore) where you can be yourself, or that little kid inside yourself. to just smile and think crazy thoughts or dream impossible dreams.
but now it’s november…
so i invited my two younger brothers over for dinner + movie last saturday evening. to say i was a bit nervous and anxious leading up to the appointed time, would be an understatement.
gosh! terrified would be a better word to describe how i felt.
just so you know where i’m coming from
it’s just me…
i have no one else to hold a conversation or entertain while i’m cooking, preparing etc. at my house, so that’s why i’ve had no one over (officially) yet. and (yes) i’ve lived here a year. so yeah, it was about time…but i think the evening went delightfully well!!! they loved what i prepared for dinner=) check out the recipe here (i could go on and on about this site also, i’ve learned so much about cooking/baking, since i discovered it) veggies and warm buttered toast…complete high carb 100% guy meal. for dessert i made a pumpkin pie…yes the one pictured. they finished the entire pie off before they left. saving the last half til after the movie.
the conversation was light, i worked my magic and kept it from going on to anything deep or “others” related. which was a huge component in evening being marked as a success.5 tips to entertaining: (that i learned really worked well…well as least for this girl, they did)
- greet them (the guest) when they arrive. Like go out the front door, while they’re getting out of their vehicle. even family members…it’s just so much better! it officially makes the night seem more special than just being like any other night.
- the dishes can wait till after the guest have left. even if that means the following morning. I had to keep telling myself…nothing will happen to me or my sink just because the dishes are sitting in there unwashed for a few hours instead of seconds, after being used.
- let the guest help themselves some, after the first helpings have been served. let them get seconds. just encourage them to eat as much as they want and take time to actually talk and enjoy a plate full yourself. I don’t have to be a mini martha.
- having something else scheduled to do once the meal is finished. this one is a must! it kept the evening from getting boring. it’s also a great time to serve, after dinner coffee, while the movie is just beginning. it keeps the evening going…also acting as a cure for any awkward silence before the movie takes over entertaining. (thanks!!!)
- don’t apologize. just don’t, not for anything.
hope these helped…any tips for future entertaining, for me? happy wednesday loves!
there’s something about seeing a table full of wonderful food being enjoyed by smiling people. it warms my heart! i sometimes think that this was maybe my purpose in life and in a way it’s really is…it’s everyone’s purpose…
we are all called serve others. for some that’s on the mission field, other’s it may be watching their children or washing their husband’s dirty laundry. for still others it could be working in retail or serving coffee.
for my dad it was working day in to day out to put food on the table for his ten children. and for my mom it was raising us children and making what little we had go the farthest.
i had two of the greatest examples of true servants in my parents; unselfish, selfless, christ-centered, loving service.
in my life when i’m the happiest and when i get the most fulfillment out of a simple day is when i serve or give of myself to others. in this time of my life it’s, more often than not, in the form of food or a meal.
i love it when my hands are all covered in flour and i’m rolling out the pie crust, just thinking of the smiles i’ll see spread across the face of the recipient. this alone, has kept me up til the wee hours of the morning just so i could pull a perfectly baked loaf out of the oven to surprise a friend with.
god has given me so much. a love for cooking and also a love for serving. the two combined are very beautiful and make my simple life worthwhile.
what gift has god given you? does it pair well with a type of serving that leaves you feeling better about others?