Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Meals with friends

Now that we are settled in nicely, we have started our weekly entertaining and hosting friends for dinners and lunches. Before we got married, hubster and me used to always talk about our mutual love of having people over for a meal and fellowhip. I love to cook, hubster enjoys socialising albiet in smaller groups. Our personalities are highly compatible in that regard I must say! While I like to go out just as a family for most weekends, we also end up having friends over many, many times. Some dinners are organised because we must return the favour, but mostly it is just about meeting up with friends for no particular reason. Occasionaly it gets a bit much but over the years we have come to realise and accept that hospitality has infact become our own personal ministry. The Johnson family is now famous for keeping an open house. What fun!

This weekend, my Sri Lankan friend who is also my neighbour will be visiting with her husband, two children and her husband's parents who are visiting from Sri Lanka. Interestingly enough they all happen to speak our language too! Not just Singhalese. That is  great for  bonding not to mention the numerous similarities in our cultures. We have been hosted by them several times and it is about time that we have them over. Our boys are friends too. Her sons are 4 and 2, quite boisterous so Yohaan gets a little overwhlemed around them but we should manage fine I think. I hope really!

We are meeting on thursday night. So today I will be busy preparing most things. I cannot decide on the menu. They told me that they enjoy beef curries. But the father in law especialy enjoys Indian breads. So with these two preferances I have to come up with something nice. I am thinking spicy fried masala beef, some kind of chicken curry, vegetable pulao and baby potatoes with a big salad. The problem with Indian breads of any kind is they need to be served straight from the stove...normaly most of us just make a batch and keep them in warm casseroles to be eaten later but with guests, especialy formal invites,  we try and serve the bread as fresh and hot as possible which unfortunately leaves the hostess/cook stuck in the kitchen while everyone else begins to eat. Anyhow, I think I shall get my friend to help me. I am close enough to her as to not be too formal. It is her in laws that need to be served well.

I have been sitting here with my second cup of chai trying to make my to-do list. I clean the house quite well everyday, so basicaly it is just maintenance work , but I do need to get the guest toilet cleaned, fresh flowers put in. Then my fridge has to be cleaned too. I have not done it in 2 weeks now. Dont judge ok!!!! I have to wash all the floor rugs today itself so that they are dry and clean for use tomorow. Change the dining table center piece. Get out my new placemats and I am so excited to use them finaly!  I have to then go and get the meat and other stuff for the dinner. And oh I forgot, I need to dust big time. I HATE that. Hate it, hate it , hate it! But living in the desert means dusting everyday. And I hate it. I havent even started on my list yet. Since I woke up at 7am I have only managed to wash the balcony, wtaer the plants and done the dishes and it is now 10.00 am. I better get going instead of sitting here and blogging away. I just thought maybe I will feel more in control if I have it written down somewhere. I wont have much peace when Yohaan wakes up because once he is up, our highness starts getting a stream of by one, his friends from the complex strart dropping in to play, invariably with their mothers too. Or he wants to visit a friend. Then he has to be fed. Meds, bath time, reading time, afternoon many things have to be juggled and fitted into the day. I have no clue as to how do mothers with more than one child manage it all! I barely manage one kid!

Usually when we have people coming over I try and finish off as much work as possible the day before. All the chopping,marinating, preparing the dough, soaking and even cleaning. The last thing I do before going to bed is to lay the table. Everything in its place. Then the next day I just wake up a little earlier than my usual time and get down to cooking everything. The curries taste much better if they are prepared way before the actual meal time. Especialy meat. By the time friends come, I am mostly done and can sit down with them and actually enjoy myself too instead of fretting over everything. Tuesdays and thurdays are my busy days because hubster is home for lunch. He looks forward to something nice to eat at home. So tomorow I have to make a nice lunch too apart from the dinner for friends. Years ago, I would have collapsed just thinking about it but now it is a cakewalk. All it takes is good time management skills. And I am good with that. And now that I have publicly declared that, let me sign off and go in to my maid mode. I shall try and post pics of the gathering and the food too ofcourse. Lets see how it all goes. Toodles readers.

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