I've been a slacker and let six weeks of CSA posts stack up. For most of that time I was traveling either during the week, on the weekend, or both, so I just snapped photos and resolved to post about it later. After driving up to the Peace and Carrots Farm (our CSA provider) today for their Harvest Fest, I decided that I shouldn't wait any longer. (TL;DR 🥦🥕🌶 🥔 -> 🥗🍲🌮)
Amanda and I love having friends come stay with us. In fact, we have some friends coming to stay with us this weekend. This got me thinking about how I usually prepare for guests on the food & beverage side of things. My Grandma taught me that there is no faux pas worse than not having enough food or drinks for guests.
I thought it would be a good idea to get my checklist down on paper.
- How many meals should I prepare for and how many are we likely to eat out?
- Do our guests have any dietary restrictions or strong preferences?
- Do I have enough snacks for between meals or late-night game playing and conversation? My go-tos are:
- Fresh fruit (Apples, bananas, pears)
- Cheese, crackers, and charcuterie
- Nuts (cashews or almonds)
- Kind Bars
- Popcorn sprinkled with Mural of Flavor
- Do I have breakfast ingredients? Not everyone fasts until noon like I do. I usually make a large breakfast skillet or some breakfast bowls. I also keep some bread around for toast. Other times I like to make a large frittata.
- What can I make ahead of time to make meals at home easier? My go-tos are:
- Soups. Easy to make and freeze a week ahead of time and easy to heat up. Have some crusty bread to heat up on the side and we are good to go.
- Carnitas. Today I’m making a big batch of carnitas in the crock pot that I’ll strain and crisp up in the oven before putting them in the fridge. This makes whipping together a quick lunch fast and easy.
- Cutting, seasoning, vacuum sealing, and freezing meats ahead of time to toss in the sous vide. Then I can quickly roast vegetables for a side.
- If I start pizza dough three days in advance, making pizza is a fun and delicious group activity.
- Do I have dessert options? They don’t need to be elaborate. Scones or cookies work well!
- Do we have flowers for the table? Making the table a more pleasant place to be is important.
- Do I have enough coffee beans?
- Do my guests take milk or sweetener in their coffee?
- Do I have grass-fed butter and MCT for the people who prefer Bulletproof coffee?
- Do I have different varieties of tea for people who prefer tea?
- Do I have enough ice for both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks?
- Should I make a double batch of iced coffee if it is hot out?
- Do I need to walk down to Yonkers Brewing and get a growler? Do my guests like hoppy, sour, or full-bodied beer?
- Do I have enough citrus for juice and garnishing cocktails?
- Do I have at least one interesting cocktail I should introduce my guests to?
- Do I have Pellegrino and wine to serve with meals?
- Do I have orange juice available for breakfast?