Hosting at Home: Make it Easy on Yourself

A pot of creamy soup sits on a black stovetop. It has a ladle in it, and there are pieces of meat, pasta and parsley floating in it.
A pot of creamy soup sits on a black stovetop. It has a ladle in it, and there are pieces of meat, pasta and parsley floating in it.

Is inviting neighbors, friends or relations to coffee or dinner a reasonable proposition if you do not have any assistance?

Here are three facts to help you decide:

  1. The best thing about being the host at home is you know just where everything is and can move freely and confidently. You are in charge of the event and can tell your guests where to sit, and what to do.
  2. Since you may not know what is happening some of the time, you need to have everything set up, so your guests can look after themselves.
  3. Most important of all you have to make it easy, so you can enjoy your own party and be ready to do it again.

Luckily all three work together. They depend on the set up, the spoon, and the snooze!

The set up

Everyone sets up before a party. With little or no sight you will want to do it even more.  Of course you will decide how simple you want to keep your first solo hosting. You may want to use trays for any drinks or snacks to contain messes which you may not know about till later.

Here are some tips for setting up:

~~Cold drinks and glasses on a tray near the refrigerator

~~ Tea kettle or coffee maker with mugs, sugar and cream on another tray, so guests can make and refill for themselves

~~Snacks or appetizers on a tray in the living room with plenty of paper napkins

~~ A buffet set up is often a good idea. (Yes, at home it can work!) The dinner can be ready to serve from the stove top, or set out on the dining table with everyone sitting around family style. Then you could ask one person to serve, or have everyone serve each other.

 The spoon

~~The more you can eat the meal with just a spoon , or a fork with a piece of bread as a pusher, the more relaxed you may be. Of course this may not be a bother for you, but it is worth choosing food that is easy to eat, as well as simple to serve.

~~ If you are inviting friends to coffee you might make or buy a coffee cake or sweet bread. Cut it into chunks or wedges, which are easier to eat than thin slices.

~~A big soup like the turkey noodle in the photo can fill your guests after they have had some pick up appetizers. A big stew, a rice dish, or a salad with everything cut small and mixed in with just a little dressing all work well for eating with a fork.

~~You can then serve a store bought pie, cookies or ice cream.

The snooze

Hosting is hard work. Prepare well so you can snooze before you start!

~~The grocery shopping, the cleaning and concealing the junk can all be mostly done ahead.

~~You may be able to set up the trays of drinks too. Cover them with a clean dishtowel and place them somewhere safe.

~~Big soups or stews almost always taste better the next day, so make them the day before. Alternatively, use a crock pot and slow cook your main dish overnight. You can reheat it before the guests arrive. The same applies to a rice cooker, which will first cook the rice and then keep everything hot after you have stirred in the additions to your pilaf or risotto.

~~Plan to have everything done an hour before the guests arrive so you can shower and snooze and put on something nice before the doorbell rings. I do not follow my own advice about the snooze, but I always admire people who do!

Yes, it is easier to have assistance, but only if your helper does not try to take over, and does what you want.

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