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Saturday, May 6, 2017

Hospitality the Easy Way

This has been our week for sociability and hospitality.  But it's not the kind we used to have when we had dinner parties of a more formal sort.  Why don't we do that any more?  Maybe it's just too much effort.

I remember years ago saying something about being concerned about putting out a good dinner as I was shopping at Harris-Teeter in Raleigh, North Carolina.  A reassuring voice from a stranger popped in from the next aisle saying, "Just fix beef stew."  Simple but always good.

At this stage of our lives, we have changed to a different mode of hospitality.  On Wednesday, we invited a colleague of Jim's to join us for dinner at Villa Macri.  We have done this several times this year with various single folks and even a few families.  It's easy and I enjoy talking to others over dinner.  Although when just Jim and I go out for dinner, we try to carry on a pleasant conversation and we do refrain from checking cell phones!

Jim wanted to do something social with his Wednesday seminar--11 men and one woman.  We discussed going to Legends and getting a private room.  I checked their website out but it seemed complicated and a bit daunting. So I suggested a 5-6 pm time at our house on Thursday evening with wine, beer, and snacks.  Almost everyone came and four men brought their spouses.  There were three toddlers adding to the fun.   It was easy enough with crackers and cheese, chips and salsa, a fruit plate, and brownies.  I decided I should make something home-made and came up with devilled eggs and sweet potato rounds.  Every bit of food disappeared--except for a bowl of grapes and a few chips.  We observed that men eat--and they drink beer not wine.  We were thanked heartily for opening our home to students.  Of course, Jim was reading their seminar papers the next day!

 Gifts from grad group
"Prophecy" wine
Then Friday we entertained our favorite way--a potluck with our graduate student group.  Jim fixed burgers and hot dogs, I made brownies again and put out the plate of veggies I had forgotten from the night before!   I made sangria.    Others brought vegetable dishes and chips and guacamole.  The eight of us had a pleasant, relaxed time.  Because these are all folks we know well, there was no pressure to remember names or make everyone feel welcome!  And any glitches in serving were no problem among friends.

Tonight it's leftover hot dogs and veggies.  And I'm glad it's just the two of us again.  Just thought I would record our easy ways of entertaining in our retirement years.

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