not really hostess-with-the-mostest

January 5, 2009

So far the summer is whizzing by in a whir of socializing with house guests and relatives visiting from far and further away. My favorite cousin from Brissy and his family of five left today after three weeks here. We’ve also had the hub’s brother and his family of five here from the UK. We’re on to our fourth set of house guests, with a change-over happening on Friday. At various pinch points we’ve needed to put up tents to cope with the numbers – in total five tents and one camper van!

People have been asking me how I cope with all the visitors and house guests so well, and ask whether I’m getting tired of catering for the hoards. My answer is the same each time. It’s not really much effort at all. For a start, we have been cooking combined barbecues. I’ve been placing orders at the local fresh sea food supplier. There is no effort in placing and picking up an order, putting out freshly shucked oysters and wrapping a fresh barramundi or salmon fillet (big enough to serve 10) in foil with lemon and a bit of butter and whacking it on the barbie for others to supervise while throwing together a couple of salads. There was one time that the two kilos of prawns I ordered needed peeling before marinating and barbecuing, but my friend, Cath (one of our house guests for New Years Eve) did it with me and made it fun. The result was worth it by the way. Prior to barbecuing them, we marinated the prawns in garlic, lemon juice, sambal oelek and half of the bunch of coriander that Cath had brought with her for her fried noodle salad. 

And further, I have not been cleaning the house from top to bottom every time new friends or relatives arrive. I’m on holidays and the house is as they find it (even down to them bringing their own towels and linen). I do occasionally ask the girls to tidy the upstairs bathroom. With four daughters the bench in there is so out of control with products for every thing you could imagine that it almost warrants a photograph. For example, how many pump packs of Impulse, and how many bottles of Listerine could girls of nine, twelve, fourteen and sixteen actually need to have in their shared bathroom? On last count there were three of each. I’m not even beginning to count the number of hair products, moisturizers, body glow and makeup products.

I do check to see that the guests have all they need, and do make sure they feel entirely at home to put the kettle on or take over the kitchen any time they feel the urge. All in all, they muck in and the result is shared labor. Every body’s happy!

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2 Responses to “not really hostess-with-the-mostest”

  1. Sounds like you are a wonderful hostess! My golden rule for visitors is that they get their own breakfast. The other two meals we eat communally, but breakfast people sort out for themselves (unless we are doing a big brunch). Also, I welcome any guest who offers to cook!

  2. ejenne said

    Hi Charlotte. I had a feeling you would be able to relate to this post.

    There’s nothing worse than feeling you have to be up before everyone else to facilitate their breakfasting. Guests probably also prefer not to impose in that way and appreciate being able to grab a cuppa whenever they feel like it.

    This summer so far my guests have taught me, 1. beef stroganoff, 2. to add grated ginger to a marinade I use for meat, 3. that I really do love christmas cake (two of them brought gifts of their home-made cakes. Not at the same time. The second one arrived just after the first was eaten and I was missing having one around to cut up for coffee) and 4. how to peel an uncooked prawn.

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