At 1:45 on Friday, I had a date with my cell phone and Miss G ...
Last month when I had my 300-post giveaway, I offered to my readers the gift of my time, and that in “Sandy-Party-Style” I’d answer questions and help the winner plan a party, or dinner, or whatever fit her lifestyle. Or, the winner could just pick my brain and we could talk about hospitality.
My winner, Miss G (who is new married and now Mrs. R), and I had THIS conversation (chocolate, pen, paper in hand) ...
Not being a reluctant entertainer, Miss G has a lot figured out when it comes to hospitality. For her young age, I was actually impressed with her entertaining knowledge and prowess. As we started talking about our similar personalities and how it’s easy to plan, and take control and … err … sometimes become bossy, we chuckled over our similarities. We seemed to “get” each other right away. This was really cool.
We talked about …
Miss G started asking me the hard questions. We discussed the dance between husband and wife – when to invite, how often to invite, who to invite (remember she is still a newly wed!). We talked about different conversation starters around the table – what works and what doesn’t - as well as planning out the meal, and delegation. We focused more on delegation.
I once felt I had to do it all!
Miss G has the same mindset that I had over15 years ago. Back then I loved cooking the ENTIRE meal. Part of me loved doing this; I think to prove to myself that I could pull it off – from appetizers to desserts. I actually took pride in this. I think maybe I thought it was cool for my guests to feel like they were coming to the “Coughlin Restaurant” and I didn’t want them to leave disappointed.
It’s your night off, I'd say.
But Miss G brought up a good point. It’s very nice to invite a couple or two over, and to tell them they don’t have to bring anything at all. “It’s your night off from cooking!” I would say back in my early entertaining days. And I meant it. My heart and soul went in to cooking the entire meal – with joy and finesse.
My pocket book said, no!
But then I got honest with Miss G. I told her that if I still had the mindset of preparing the entire meal, we’d be entertaining a lot less! Because my pocketbook would be SCREAMING at me!
Food is so expensive these days, but I still want to feel free to invite people over for dinner! So I’ve let go of the “I have to do it all” attitude, and I delegate and ask my guests to contribute.
(Any chance you have an amaryllis in bloom right now? We are enjoying ours ... Thank you, Dee!)
We ended our talk on Friday talking about grace. A gracious hostess is what I strive to be. I think it’s required of me and it’s something I want more of. As I continue to learn now – in my 40’s – and apply these nuggets of grace that I’ve been given, I will reach out, encourage and help others, by sharing my experiences.
Forty-five minutes later we said our good-byes. I hope I was able to offer something fresh and new for Miss G. She’s already on the road to gracious living, and I was impressed by her kind spirit – and the fact that she did not lack passion, zip or style!
Would you be interested in a 45 minute chat about hospitality? Covering any topic that you’d want to learn more about?
Look for another opportunity to win a “hospitality chat” with me in a few months.
Last week I experimented with my own chicken recipe. My family loved it, so if you are an “olive” family, I think yours will too!
Sandy’s Chicken Kalamata
Red onion or garlic (I used onion)
Your favorite cheese (I used Dubliner, from Costco, our family favorite!)
Secret to tender chicken? Always tenderize
Brown breasts in olive oil and red onion (or garlic) on both sides and season!
Lay in pan, placing your favorite sliced cheese on top
Spread about 1 cup (or more) sour cream on top of cheese; chop olives
Place olives on very top, cover with foil, bake at 375 for 30 minutes
Mouth-watering goodness, served on top of brown rice!
I made this recipe up as I went along, using leftover olives from our New Years Eve dinner, but my family decided that it was a home-run Coughlin recipe!
Look what we pulled out of our closet today. They are dusty …