Making it Real

We have been making excuses for why we cannot make room for others at our table. Are you ready for a challenge? A challenge to welcome people into your home, to sit with them at your table, to engage and listen to them, no matter who they are or what their story may be….no matter how well you can or cannot cook, when your house is a mess or you are feeling pressured. Will you make room this week for someone at your table?

Remember the excuses I made….well here they are again with a counter response, a practical suggestion for putting the excuses away this week. And making it real….

I thought about having some new friends over on Friday night, but I was so tired by the end of the week I cancelled. Invite a good friend to partner with you, to keep you accountable -a new and an old friend to share an end of the week pizza.

By the time I get back from work and sort out the kids, school notes, lunch boxes, uniform, readers there really isn’t enough time to prepare a meal for company. Make a bulk batch of bolognese sauce on the weekend – defrost it and serve spaghetti bolognese for your family plus one or two more. Ask your guests to bring a green salad or garlic bread. Simple.

We live too far out of town and I am sure people really wouldn’t want to make the drive on a wet Autumn evening. Invite people over for lunch on the weekend instead. A drive in the country followed by lunch and a stroll in the paddocks is hard to beat. Just remember to ask your guests to bring old shoes/boots.

We are on a really tight budget at the moment, we are building a house and every last penny is going towards the new home fund, so no entertaining at the moment. If you have food for your family then you have all you need. Invite a few families over for a pot luck dinner – BYO, perhaps with a theme (pasta, Asian, soup) and share your food and thus relieve the pressure on your budget.

I am single and I couldn’t possibly have a family over – we literally don’t have enough crockery or cutlery…or seats! If you want to be generous and really spend time with people create a DYI take away box and make dinner for  a family in their house. Keep it simple – something like a fast pasta, steak sandwiches, burritos. The family can help and you can chat as you cook. Just don’t forget to clean up.

Since we had baby number three the house has been in such a state and I am really hoping to get on top of it. Maybe next month. Forget the house. Make the focus people. Tell them you want to see them and ask them around for cheese and ham toasties – as you DYI your lunch conversation happens.

I am really not a great cook and the thought of having to coordinate a meal makes me stressed. I just can’t do it. Offer to host – prepare the venue and ask a team of friends to cater for you. Many hands make light work, all you have to do is co-ordinate.

My children are difficult and I am worried they will behave badly. We can’t take them out and we can not have people at home. On a fine day meet friends in the park for afternoon tea. Make sure it is a safe area where you can supervise and with things for the kids to do. BYO cake and thermos of coffee, juice, water and make it a casual picnic.

I have thought about asking the new people from our neighbourhood over for a coffee, but there never seems to be enough time. As genuine as this concern is we always have 5 minutes. Next time you bump into your neighbour ask them in for a coffee – your take up rate might not be high but at least you are trying to connect and this will do amazing things for your outlook and ability to see opportunities where you thought there were none.

So many people have food allergies and intolerances nowadays, how can I possibly cater for them all. Invite people to bring a dish to share. Friends with food intolerances will cater for their own allergies and fussy eaters – it is also an opportunity for you to see what they like to eat!