It Is More Blessed To Give (Hospitality-Easy Ideas)

Today is the last post in my series on hospitality. If you missed any posts, here are the links.

Series Intro

Overnight Guests

Easy, No Fail Recipes

Meals for Others

I’ve really enjoyed doing this series.  I’m so thankful that Amanda has given me the space on her blog to share what I’ve been learning. I hope it’s been a help to you.

Today I’m going to share a few simple ideas. Ideas that I’ve found to make hospitality easier in your home.

* Open House

Table of Hospitality

Table of Hospitality

We did this last winter around Christmas time, and it was a hit. We invited everyone in the church to drop in any time between 6 pm and 9 pm on a certain evening. We do have a small church, so it wasn’t like we were inviting 250 people over! I had finger food prepared, and people could come and go as they pleased. I only had to clean my house once, and it brought many people to our house. It was convenient as well for those who had plans that evening as they could drop in and stay for as long as they were able.

 

* Diaper Shower

Hospitality-Diaper Shower

Hospitality-Diaper Shower

I’ve had a few diaper showers at my house for friends. They are easy to do. I do a drop in style event. No one is too interested watching a new mother open 20 packages of diapers. So people can come and go as they please. I usually just have a punch and a cake for food. I don’t do a whole lot of decorating, just a few balloons and cute plates.

 

* Bonfire

Hospitality-Bonfire

Hospitality-Bonfire

My husband built a simple fire pit in our back yard. It cost $30, but it’s given us many opportunities to show hospitality. We’ve had many groups of people over to have hot dogs or s’mores. I have a table out on the deck, and I set all the food up on it. It’s nothing fancy, but we’ve made a lot of memories around that fire pit.

I hope these ideas help you out! Please share some of your creative ideas to show hospitality. I need some new ideas!

Thank you to all who’ve stuck with me through this series. I trust it was a help to those of you who like me, struggle to show hospitality at times. Remember…”It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35

It Is More Blessed To Give (Hospitality-Meals for Others)

Today is the third of four posts on hospitality. You can read the other posts here.

Intro-Series Intro

Post #1-Overnight Guests

Post#2-Easy, No Fail Recipes

hospitality by a Kind Neighbour

Hospitality by a Kind Neighbour

An easy way to show hospitality without cleaning your house is by taking a meal to someone who is sick, shut in, or going through a difficult time. Maybe someone you know just had a new baby or is in the process of moving, a prepared meal will mean a lot to them.

As I mentioned before, I have been through many surgeries and I am sick in bed quite often. I have been spoiled with friends and neighbours who take care of me each time. Here are a few things that I have learned from them and in turn have put into practice in my own life when showing hospitality.

 

*Don’t worry about making something exotic. 
Sometimes I have great plans, and I want to make an extraordinary meal. It’s usually just best to make something simple and not too exotic. There are so many allergies these days. So, it’s also best to stick to meals that have familiar ingredients.

*Just make up plates to take.
We’ve received meals all done up on plates. The person who brought a meal just made us up plates of whatever they were having at home. I thought this was a neat idea, especially when there are only two of us.

*Use your crock pot.
Throw something into the crock pot and you can drop it off at any point during the day. It also will be ready when they are ready to eat.

*Let people know ahead of time that you are bringing something.
If you are bringing someone a meal that is ready to eat, it is best to let them know ahead of time. This will ensure that your meal can be delivered on the night it is needed most.

*Pick up something at the grocery store.
If you are too busy for different reasons, you can always grab something that is already made. You can get a ready to go meal such as chicken or a ready to bake pizza. You could also drop off frozen lasagna with a salad or dessert. Some people feel this is cheating, but I know from experience that when you are sick, you appreciate it very much whether it is home made or “store bought.”

*Make a loaf or cookies.
If you aren’t able to make a full meal, you could always drop off a plate of cookies or a banana bread. You can never go wrong with those!

*Drop off some groceries.
We’ve had friends who’ve dropped off a few bags of groceries to us with things that were a treat for us. It also saves someone from having to run to the grocery store when they are sick or very busy.

Hospitality through strawberries

Hospitality through Strawberries

When I was in Bible college, I was staying with my pastor’s family for a few days while I wasn’t feeling well. On Saturday morning, my pastor’s wife was out with friends in Toronto. While she was out, she picked up a box of fresh strawberries for me. It meant so much to me.

I learned a very important lesson that day. The specialness of the gift is not relative to the size. That box of strawberries meant just as much to me as a four course meal.

 

So when you feel inadequate and unqualified to minster to others through hospitality, remember it truly is the thought that counts!

It Is More Blessed To Give (Hospitality-Easy, No Fail Recipes)

Welcome back to the second post in my series on hospitality. I’ve had unexpected company for three days, and I pulled out some of my “go to” recipes. They’re nothing fancy, just simple to prepare. If you stay at my house often, you probably have eaten them! I hope these help you out as you show hospitality. I’ll give credit if I know where a recipe came from, but most of them have just been given to me over the years.

  • Breakfast Casserole

This is a simple recipe that ends up different each time I make it. I’ll give you the basic recipe and show you how I adapt it. I often clean out my fridge using this recipe!
Crack 12 eggs in a large bowl. Add 1-2 cups of milk. Stir well. Add shredded cheese (1-2 cups). If you have breakfast meat, add that. I have used ham, sausage or bacon. Add any chopped veggies that would add to the taste. I have used mushrooms, onions, peppers, olives and tomatoes. I have also added salsa. Cut up bread into inch cubes. This could be sandwich bread, hamburger buns, hot dog buns, etc. This is a good use for bread that looks like it suffered in the freezer. Just thaw it and cut it up. Add this and mix everything very well. Pour into a greased 9×13 dish and cook at 350 for about 30 minutes. I have also refrigerated this overnight and baked it in the morning. I have also cooked this overnight in a slow cooker. As I said, it’s different every time I make it, but it is so nice to have an easy breakfast especially on Sunday mornings!

eggs

  • FGBC Oatmeal Bake

This recipe came from Forest Glen Bible Camp’s recipe box almost 15 years ago. I don’t know who put it there, but if anyone knows, please let me know. This is a recipe that even most oatmeal haters like.
2 eggs
½ cup of oil
1 cup brown sugar or honey
2 cups milk
3 ½ cups oatmeal (quick)
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp of nutmeg
Mix and pour into a 9×13 greased pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. (Sometimes I add fruit such as blueberries or raspberries. No specific amount, just what looks good.)

oatmeal

  • Blasted Chicken

This recipe came from my mother-in-law, who is one of the best cooks I know. This makes an easy meal. Rub a little chicken (around 3 pounds) with seasoning. Place breast down in a baking pan or casserole dish that has been greased. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 425. Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting. I usually cover the top loosely with a piece of foil to keep the oven from becoming a mess while baking, but don’t cover it too tightly. You want it to brown up.

Blasted Chicken

  • Easy Chili

This recipe came from my mother and has no amounts, just ingredients. Make it how you like it!
Ground beef
Onion
Celery
Peppers
Chili powder
Mushrooms
Kidney Beans
Spaghetti Sauce (I find the large club pack no name brand
is great to have on hand in case of emergency!)

Throw everything in the crock pot! Corn bread makes a nice side to this meal!

Chili

  •  Campbell’s Salsa Mac & Beef

This is another favourite. Instead of using picante sauce, I just use salsa. I also use whatever kind of noodles I have on hand.

http://www.campbellskitchen.com/recipes/spicy-mac-beef-50695

  • Goulash

This is another quick recipe I learned from my mother-in-law. Fry ground beef. Boil noodles. Drain noodles and ground beef. Combine. Add one large undrained can of diced tomatoes. Add some brown sugar to sweeten. Add some cheese. I have used slices, shredded or parmesan cheese. Mix well. Let it simmer for a few minutes to allow noodles to absorb some of the juice.

Well I hope some of the recipes are a help to you! If you ever come to stay with us, you can expect to eat some of these recipes. Please share an easy recipe that you turn to when you have company. I’m hoping that I will get some new ideas as a result of writing this post!!! Thanks for reading.

I hope you come back next Thursday as I’ll be sharing ideas for taking meals to people who are sick, shut in, or need cheering up! I have been on the receiving end of many meals, so I will share with you some of the things that others have done for me!

It Is More Blessed To Give (Hospitality-Overnight Guests)

Our house is small…very small! But we love it! We have a small mini home with two bedrooms. It is set back away from the road under a huge oak tree. We do the yard work and our landlord has allowed us to paint it and make little upgrades here and there. It truly is “our” place, even though we rent. We have a beautiful yard and are surrounded by a large field filled with corn. We often see wildlife, such as deer, ground hogs, chipmunks, and skunks!

Although our place is small, we do have overnight guests quite often. Our “guest” room is also our storage room. I have learned little tricks that have helped my utilize my space and keep things from being too crowded. I am going to give you a few ideas that I am always tweaking from time to time to make overnight guests feel at home.

THE ROOM

*Lots of pillows make a bed look inviting.
We only have a double bed in the room, but I put lots of pillows on the bed to make it look comfortable and inviting. Some people like extra pillows as well.

*Having your own playpen saves a lot of hassle.
I was able to purchase a second hand playpen from a friend, and it has been a life saver for me. It saves my guests from bringing theirs. It is also nice to have when friends are visiting for the day or evening and need a place to lay their baby down.

*Keep a set of guest towels in the bedroom.
I have a basket with lots of towels in the guest room. I always know that I have clean towels, if it’s an unplanned stay.

*Keep a small lamp and night light in the room.
The night light keeps nieces and nephews from being afraid when they stay overnight. It is also useful when parents go to bed after the children are already sleeping. If there is a night light they can see without turning a big overhead light on.

*Put an alarm clock in the room.
I always am thankful for an alarm clock with the time lit when I am staying in a strange room. Often when I am somewhere else, I wake up with a start thinking that I have overslept!

MEALS
I also have a very small kitchen. So I try to do a few things that help make meal prep easier when the house is full.

*Make a menu.
I always try to know what I will be making, so I can shop for all the ingredients ahead of time. I try to have everything as organized as possible.

*Do as much prep as possible ahead of time.
I try to have veggies chopped and in the fridge. I often have meals in the freezer. If I have meat that needs to be precooked, I do that.

*Use the crock pot as much as possible.
I use my crock pot for many meals when I have company. It cuts down on the mess. It can be set and forgotten. The foods are ready to eat when we are.

*Make breakfast casseroles.
I make breakfast casseroles when I have company. I have two different recipes that are my go to casseroles! (I will share the recipes later!) One can go in the crock pot and is ready when we are ready to eat. There are many variations of breakfast casseroles.

*Keep your meals simple.
Sometimes I want to make big, wonderful meals for my company. If I do that, I end up spending my whole day in the kitchen. I don’t have much time for socializing with my guests.

*Use your bread maker.
My bread maker has caused many a meal to stretch. If you don’t have one, make sure to have bread on hand. It is useful to help stretch a meal or provide a snack.

These are a few of my “sanity” saving tips! Next week, I am going to share a few recipes that have become my tried and true recipes.

It Is More Blessed To Give (Hospitality Series Intro)

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I’ve never met a group of people who exemplify this more than when I moved to the area where I’m living now. Hospitality and giving are a way of life here. As the years have passed, I’ve gotten to know a group of people who give more than I ever knew it was possible to give. It’s not a single person or family, it’s everyone.

Hospitality and giving surrounds me. I’ve been invited out for many meals, as well as stayed in many people’s homes. I’ve had many surgeries over the 5 years I’ve lived here, and every time there’s been a steady stream of meals and baked goods arriving at my house when I got home. I’ve had meals delivered to my house by neighbors I barely even knew.

Hospitality is something that I’ve been making a more conscious effort at. It’s something I felt very uncomfortable doing at first. I could list a million reasons as to why I wasn’t very good at it. Our house is very small. I’m not an amazing cook. My house is dusty. I don’t have any great recipes. I may have to cancel because I’m sick. The list could go on and on. I finally decided that these were excuses and I needed to work harder at this.

So I got our spare room ready and told our pastor that our room was available for people to stay in if anyone needed a place to stay during a week of special meetings. Sure enough, a missionary family with three small children showed up, and we were able to offer them a room to stay in. As I was apologizing for the small room, the wife smiled and said that any room in a house beat staying in a tent. As I went to bed that night, I realized that she was right. Yes, the room was small and the children were sleeping on piles of blankets on the floor; but it was dry and the washroom wasn’t far away. That was worth a lot!

I’ve learned how to be creative in showing hospitality. It may not be having overnight guests, it could be a meal for someone or throwing a baby shower. Over the next few Thursdays beginning tomorrow, I’m going to share a few things I’ve learned along the way. If you feel like I felt, maybe this will give you the courage to start showing hospitality. Nothing is new or original with me. I‘ve learned from others! I hope you’ll share some of your ideas as well! I know that many of you are pros at this hospitality thing. Some of you (I won’t mention any names) have guests so often, you could open a bed and breakfast! Sharing ideas will make it easier for all of us and we can all improve when it comes to showing hospitality!