Receiving guests in your home is always an honor, but when you suddenly hear the doorbell ring and have unexpected guests it’s easy to panic. With these tips you’ll be ready no matter how much notice you get.
The Holidays are upon us and occasionally, when we least expect it, the door bell will ring. You suddenly find yourself face to face with your family expecting to be welcomed into your home with open arms and a warm dinner as well as sleeping accommodations. Unannounced guests can be bothersome, here are some tips to ease this stress.
Keep a good supply of pasta and rice on hand in your pantry. If your guests arrive prior to dinner you can always alter your menu and turn it into a rice or pasta dish with meat added to it instead of burgers or steak. Turn them into spaghetti, stroganoff, goulash or even a veggie soup. Butter some bread slices and sprinkle some herbs on it for herb bread or even garlic and you have stretched your meal even further.
My friend once served 15 unexpected guests a wonderful vegetable soup. She had planned to clean out her fridge that day and the doorbell rang with her guests. She had one of her kids help her with dinner while everyone else relaxed in the living room and got caught up on old times. She and her son cleaned out the fridge and all of the vegetables went into a soup pot along with a few cans of tomatoes and some beef stock. The soup was wonderful. She also served a salad and some French bread and the guests raved and raved about her dinner.
Keep your fridge stocked with salad greens. Add a canned or frozen vegetable and garlic toast and you have a full meal. You can also open a can of fruit or several and top with some whip cream or quickly make up some short cakes and top with fruit. Your meal will be filling and look wonderful.
Make it a breakfast night and serve pancakes, waffles, omelette’s or such for dinner. This will really stretch the budget out as well as the amount of people you serve. If you have a can of pumpkin make pumpkin pancakes or waffles. Any fruit will do and your guests will feel that you went an extra mile to make it just for them.
For the overnight guests, keep an air mattress handy. We also have a trundle bed under our daughters bed so any younger guests can go there. If you have a futon, or a hide-a-bed then that is also an option. If all else fails apologize and put them in sleeping bags on the floor or sofa.
Don’t apologize for the messy house. You weren’t expecting them and it will just draw their eyes to the mess.
For breakfast you can serve toast with jam, bagels, even warm the leftover pancakes or waffles from last nights dinner. Offer coffee, tea and some juice and you have a reasonable breakfast.
Remember that the holiday’s only come once a year and that not all of your family is going to be respectful of your boundaries and when they should and shouldn’t call before they visit. Its fine to say, “Oh, we weren’t expecting you! Had you called we would’ve been more prepared!”. Let them fill in the awkward silence and just do what you can to get through it. Hopefully next time they will be more respectful and give you a call prior to dropping in on you.