Summertime generally finds me a little less busy than other times of the year. Because of that I like to have friends over for simple lunches. I much prefer it over busy, somewhat to totally noisy restaurants and the conversations are much better. Besides that I generally like to stay away from fast food as much as possible. For the last several summers I’ve prepared a vegetable summer salad, plopped some bread dough from my bread machine onto a baking stone for fresh bread to dip in oils/spices, and served a simple fruit salad for dessert. For whatever reason even that seemed too much of an ordeal this summer – all that chopping!
This summer I streamlined my menu even more. Because of various comings and goings in our home all of my hospitality has been over the course of a couple of weeks. So I decided to make a huge pot of chicken soup (yes, I know, it’s summer and hot finally!) and freeze it into smaller portions. I’ve made that same bread dough into buns and then made sure to plan evening dinners that required them or freezing them for the next luncheon. My cucumber vines have been amazingly prolific – 10 to 20 daily for most of the summer – so I simply sliced them. And then chunked up watermelon for dessert. Maybe that doesn’t sound like less work but it has been. The soup does have a lot of chopping but it was done all at once instead of each time I had a guest. Same for the watermelon. To make it a little more festive I’ve been serving lunch on some green with white polka dot plates that I purchased at a garage sale back in July. I’ve used some cute little clear glass bowls that my mother-in-law gave me. So my simple lunch served in this manner makes it feel a bit more special. (As I didn’t think to take any photos you’ll have to use your imagination!)
Having friends in to share a meal and share our lives – both successes and challenges – is an enjoyable way to connect, share our faith stories, strengthen friendships or form new ones. But some of us are a bit overwhelmed at the thought of all the preparation, cleaning, and all the stresses that can accompany such activities. Let’s do it a little more often and with a bit more simplicity. We’ll be blessed because of it!
What ideas do you have for having friends over more often?