Always Being Ready

This holiday weekend, our plans never materialized. I mean, we'd probably try to do the traditional things we always do on the 4th of July- go to the hometown parade, visit family, eat grilled meat, watch fireworks. No concrete plans were in the works, though, and the burn pile out back had grown higher and higher over the last six months...

Let's have a bonfire with friends! I said to my husband yesterday.
When? he asked.
How about Thursday night? That shouldn't interfere with all the festivities already planned, I surmised.
Who should we invite? we wondered.

The list was made, friends were called, a lot of "Maybe" answers were received. If all the Maybe's turn to Yes's, we could end up with a party of 15 people. In less than two days. No forethought at all.

I love entertaining. I'm not a social person, but to welcome people into my home, with prepared food and kind words, is a joy to me. Which means a 2-liter and a bag of chips won't cut it. And I have very few hours until all these potential people start showing up at my door. What have I gotten myself into?!

I did an inventory while ticking off what we'd need for a proper bonfire & cookout: Hot dogs, hamburgers, condiments, a salty snack, a healthy snack, soda and non-soda drinks, and s'mores for dessert. We had 2 full packs of hot dogs in the freezer, as well as two full packs of hot dog buns. We have plenty of ground beef for hamburgers, and a pack & a half of hamburger buns. We have half a pack of graham crackers, no marshmallows, no chocolate. I just stocked up on drinks earlier this week, so both soda and non-soda is covered.

I love that I can whip up a good-sized party from what is in my freezer, and only need to go shopping for a few odds & ends (The list primarily consists of chips, marshmallows, and chocolate). A well stocked pantry (and freezer) is the biggest step toward drop-of-the-hat hospitality. And hospitality matters.

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