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Taking time out for the Joy of Hospitality

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There was a time when I was younger that taking the time out for the joy of hospitality happened often.  I had a single child at home (not being able to have any further children) and I made it a regular occurrence to have many people “grace” our table particularly for this reason.  I would even have people stay overnight who were from other regions. At one time I had 22 people over and a family of ten staying in “ground level”sleeping arrangements. They were busy years but I enjoyed the throng of people that made their way to our humble dwelling and what I learned along the way.

Living in the present

With times up until now life has gotten slower because of a medical condition with my husband – but that has stabilized. I am now working towards having more people to come and visit. I have even got my visitors book out ready after 5 years of blank pages. Already my mum and dad have traveled over 22 hours by car and caravan to be the first on our list of visitors. A lady around the corner I met through Facebook came over for a cuppa and she discovered she knew of my husband 30 years ago. Small world really.

I notice that when people pick up the visitors book they go through what other people have written. I let small children run amok and there are their illustrations from older and younger children. We have been here a little over 2 months – but have had people call in often. Our house number is 23 (I’m not into astrology particularly – but two people that are – commented “It will be a revolving door for visitors” and the other “you will be busy with having people come to your house”. Already also a new visitor says she will help me cook when I have people over. Now that was funny – because I hadn’t mentioned that I was having people over!

Being anxious rather than joyful

I re-call the first time I cooked for visitors with a smile really. Being so anxious that they enjoyed the food that I cooked meant I could hardly eat myself. I remember one fellow knocked back dessert and I felt perturbed until he explained he was watching his weight and didn’t eat dessert (neither did we often anyway!)

Time went by and I finally got the hang of it. Repetition and learning how to cook well. I would have said that we all learn and with me cooking has got better and easier. I use recipes as a guide but often can do it by “hand or feel”. I feel joy in what I prepare and look forward to serving it to others.

Taking into account what is going on in our world

With so much happening in our world with a negative slant – being hospitable is something we can do “in our small corner”. This is something we can do in a small or large way in our own local “scene”.

Our society is such that often we have more than others – food or drink being one of them.  The quote “If you are more fortunate than others, it’s better to build a longer table than a taller fence.” is apt.  Even if you invite someone over for a cuppa or even a light lunch in a wee small patch of time you are working towards good. God blesses hospitality. I am reminded of the two fish and five loaves of bread and how it was used to feed many.  Even the crumbs (left-overs) were not wasted.

A table is just a table without the joy of hospitality and the attitude you bring.

Ways to incorporate hospitality

Hospitality is not just amusement – but can work towards an occasion of great friendship and bonding.

There are way to incorporate hospitality:

  • If this is a new thing for you – ask advice of those who you see have a hospitable nature and are successfully having people over. People you have had the experience of dining with.
  • Have a plan – but make it simple and easy.
  • Incorporate dishes pre-prepared if possible that don’t take you away from your guests or at least minimal.
  • Delegate to special friends that come along if you are having more than about 7 or 8 people
  • Have activities for children – but also have an adult overseeing and swapping over so there is equal “child time-out” for the adult. Crafts of many varieties can be organized and even outside games where adults are included also.
  • Up your organizing skills ie  learn how to make things flow when or if there are any hiccups.
  • Do your utmost to have your home up-to-date with cleaning. It makes you and your guests both feel better.
  • Don’t have new recipes for your guests.  Try beforehand for success. Here on Esme Salon you are sure to have many choices to help. Tried and true ones to try — do shortcut your time.
  • Make sure you are not too busy to take time out to speak to your guests in real terms. Small talk is a good start and sometimes group discussion is interesting and helpful on many topics. Make it friendly and you are on the right track.
  • Consider having a pot luck lunch if you have bigger numbers to save time. Heating up maybe necessary with some – but slow cookers are a boon when your oven maybe full. They can be switched on to keep the heat on low at any power point. I have done this with when I cooked a roast for someone near Christmas. Putting a tea towel spread under the lid – helps stop too much moisture if that is an issue. We had to travel 45 minutes by car to get there – but the ceramic pot held the heat in wonderfully well.
  • Having everyone serve themselves in smorgasbord fashion is by far the easiest. Don’t make things too difficult and guests seem to enjoy this more.
  • Have a separate table if possible for drinks and snacks. Have someone delegated to do this if you have a number of people
  • If you have guests with preferences or allergies – consider a little label beside each dish. ie for Gluten free or Vegan, etc
  • Whatever you do – don’t be anxious. Start small with only 1 or 2 guests before embarking on a bigger under-taking. If you are relaxed – so will your guests be.
  • Allow a minimum of half an hour before the time you have asked your guests to come. This gives them time to mingle and relax into your setting.
  • Have accessories organized. Serving spoons, plates, cutlery, serviettes, etc.
  • Don’t always think inside the square. Make things different if you want. We invited people over for breakfast once. It was delightful!
  • Most of all enjoy! Have joy in being hospitable.  This I find is an attitude and it is good for your health!

So you can see I’m planning to be rather busy sharing some hospitality – I’m hoping that you are inspired to do the same.

Until later!

  • Make tomorrow more amazing than today!
  • Just believe in yourself and dream big.
  • Do not give up on your hopes. Take care always.


I, Esme Slabbert, am the author and creator of this site, EsmeSalon. It is unlawful to re-use any content from this blog, without my written permission. Please contact me should you wish to discuss it further.


My goal is to provide the best homemade recipes that are healthy for all families to enjoy. I also endeavor to showcase and share other bloggers and promote them on my Blog. You will also find Resources and Courses and Services for Bloggers which I promote from time to time.

8 thoughts on “Taking time out for the Joy of Hospitality”

  1. Well Esme, we often do this Summer thing where the husband barbecues and I deliver warm garlic lemon and bean salad lettuce tomato and cucumber Salad warm bread to tear and share home made crackers and sweet chilly humous to dip. A self serve affair which just evolves from the house into the garden.. We love it, but our home is not very big, (a converted Victorian school marms house) so once the weather turns the bi-folds close and space is much cozier we stop. Maybe we could have a supper soiree for fewer guests rather than not at all. A great post that made me think outside my quaint schoolhouse box. 😁😊


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