Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Gift of Hospitality

Saturday. Safely through another week.

"This is the day which the Lord hath made;
we will rejoice and be glad in it."
(Psalm 118:24)

Today I'm grateful for the gift of hospitality
. We're hosting for church tomorrow, meaning we invite any visitors home for the Sunday noon meal. Sometimes this can be up to 40 people! (Our church does everything BIG, and most families are, well, BIG. We're the small family. We're 6.) I really like getting to know the new or visiting families, so this is a good thing -- having them over for a relaxed Sunday meal.

But how can it be relaxed with that many people?? It's doable! We do it by remembering that it's about hospitality, not entertainment.

Preparing ahead of time takes away a lot of the stress.

I'll be spending a few hours today preparing food and cleaning. Here's what I'll make:

2 lbs. noodles, cooked in salt water and drained

6 lbs. ground beef, fried with onions

2 pints peas or green beans

4 cans cream of mushroom soup

2 cans cream of chicken soup

2 cups milk (or more if you want it more soupy)

1 loaf bread, toasted and broken into pieces

Mix all together. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake in electric roaster at 250 for 4 hours. Serves 50.

Sounds easy enough, huh? Pauline already browned the beef for us earlier this week, and we froze it. So, just have to throw everything in this here electric roaster on Sunday morning, turn it on before church and, Wa-lah!

I'm grateful for my electric roaster:

We actually RAN OUT of food once when we had company. How embarrassing is that?? My huge crockpot wasn't huge enough. Next day, my husband ordered me this electric roaster. Great investment.

We'll also make this very easy dish:

Applesauce Jello

4 pkgs. strawberry jello
4 cups boiling water
4 cups applesauce

Dissolve jello in boiling water, stir in applesauce and pop in fridge.

Children love it and it's very filling. For a nice holiday twist, use cherry jello and dissolve 1 cup red cinnamon candies in water before stirring in applesauce. Mmmmm.........

Then, all we need is a nice big salad and extra bread.

We'll also make 2 chocolate cakes. But if we don't get to it, I can always serve Peter-cinnamon rolls! And there you go.

I'm also grateful for children who like to bake. They come in quite handy.

We're very informal when we have lots of people over to eat. We set up the food around the counter, buffet-style, and people just go through the line.

We eat wherever. Some at the table, some in the living room, or some outside on the deck if it's nice. Children usually like to go outside to eat, and they especially enjoy eating on the trampoline! We can do that pretty much year round here, since the weather's mild.

It's about HOSPITALITY, not entertainment.

We don't go crazy cleaning. Pick up stuff people could trip over, make sure there's at least one clean bathroom, quick dust, sweep and vacuum and that's about it. Don't you feel somewhat uncomfortable when you go to someone's house and it's so spic and span you could eat off the floor? The first thing that goes through your mind is, "Hope they don't come to my house!" Clean and sanitary, yes. Fit for a magazine cover, no.

Again, HOSPITALITY, not entertainment. People remember smiles. They remember you being calm enough to sit a spell and chat.

My good friend Mary Alice and her neighbor

They remember your laughter. They remember that they were more important to you than your house.

Celebrating my birthday at Mary Alice's

"And above all things, have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so, minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." (I Peter 4:8-10)

George and Uncle Butch

My engineer husband, who specializes in pipes, just enlightened me about the word "manifold." In the piping world, a manifold is when a pipe branches out into multiple pipes to distribute what's being conveyed or pumped. See:

So that sheds deeper meaning for the verse above. The grace of God we receive as a gift can be "distributed" to others by using the gift of hospitality. Neato! I guess engineering isn't so boring after all! (My husband wants you to click on the picture above and notice the people. It shows how big the pipes are. It's very exciting to him...)

Have a great weekend everybody!

Visit Brenda at Garden of Learning for inspiring posts on gratitude.


SisterTipster said...

Thank you for such a wonderful reminder of how wonderful it is to give to others through hospitality. Have a blessed day! hugs!

Heidi... said...

Jimi Ann.. I LOVE getting to know you. This is a beautiful post!! (I especially love the picture of the kids baking).

I may "borrow" your church's idea and see if different people would volunteer to invite visitors over to their home for a meal after Sunday morning worship. Great idea!!

Heather C. said...

The picture of George & Uncle Butch is PRECIOUS !! definately a keepsake :) Happy cooking today ~ you always do a nice job of making people feel welcome ~

hip-chick said...

What a wonderful custom. It must be such a joy to be able to invite all those folks into your home and then to be invited to another person's home as well. What a great way to fellowship with each other.

The Unsell Family said...

What a beautiful reminder. We used to do this after church every Sunday. We would chose several families randomly to invite over. I haven't done it in a while though. Your post is a good reminder to me of how beautiful hospitality can be! Thank you for sharing.

Jill said...

Thanks for the hospitality reminder. Your menu sounds fabulous. It is so much easier to pull together meals, big and small, when you prepare ahead of time. That is one lesson that I am thankful my mother taught me.

Our Village is a Little Different said...

It sounds like you are ready for a wonderful day of fellowship and fun. I love to be the hostess, and I am like you, I prepare ahead and keep it simple so I can enjoy the company. That electric roaster is wonderful! I think I'll add one to my wish list!

Thank you for the photos, and the recipes. I enjoyed your post!

Anonymous said...

We have the same roaster! I just posted about receiving mine and doing a test turkey earlier this week.

I've enjoyed getting to know you a bit while sipping some hot tea this evening. I look forward to getting to know you better in the future.

Illinois Lori said...

Jimi Ann, for the Yummesetti (sp?) recipe in the you just put all that stuff into the roaster itself, or do you put it into another big pan and then put THAT pan into the roaster, like you'd put a pan of bread dressing/stuffing into the oven to bake? I have a roaster (I had a double oven...well, I still do, but the upper oven is dead and they no longer make parts for it, it's so old) which I now use instead of my upper oven, but I've only used it once so far to cook my Thanksgiving turkey (came out great, btw!). Anyway, this looks like a great recipe for a big group!