I just sent my brother on his way from visiting us for a long weekend. It was wonderful to have him and his two grown kids here with us. All my own offspring came to honor him and the long trip he made to be here, and to visit with their seldom-seen cousins. I enjoyed them all, too.
Of course, there is work involved in having important company, which my brother is. If someone makes a twelve to fourteen hour trip just to see me, I feel it important I bother with his comfort once he is here.
What does a guest need? Several things:
- A light meal for the first meal. After traveling, snacking, and sitting for a whole day, a guest wants a simple, easily digestible meal. Not knowing when the guest will actually arrive, you also do not want time-sensitive foods. Put the two together and you get SOUP! I served my visitors a light, homemade chicken noodle soup and an apple salad with honey/yogurt dressing. They loved it.
- Privacy. A person naturally wants to be able to dress, brush teeth, and snore in peace, without feeling watched, censored, or odd in any way. He also needs a place to hang clothing. I put my nephew with my son on twin beds, my niece with my daughter in bunked beds, and my brother in our sunroom on the daybed with doors shut and curtains drawn.
Cleanliness. You may know the smear on your vanity faucet is just a dab of soap, but your guest wants it off, wants clean. Extreme clean. Towels must be fresh, and if possible, color coded, so your guest knows his is his. Sheets should be your best set with pillow cases ironed to kill germs. Bathroom surfaces should shine and all dust, hair, and smears should be removed daily, during their stay. (You may be comfortable staring at your husband’s toothpaste droppings from yesterday while you brush your teeth, but who else would be?)
- Entertainment. Find out what your guest might like to experience. We live rural, so it’s mostly parks and other natural events. We took my brother and kids to one he and I had visited as children. His own had never seen it. It is impressive and they were impressed. Anything, though, to break up sitting and chatting, will suffice. Bike riding, fishing, antiquing, strolling through woods, or rock collecting are affordable and fun ways I would enjoy burning a few calories and getting out.
- Internet access. Not all want this, but if you do not have Internet in your home, seek the nearest hot spot.
We had the best old time. I taught him how we make grilled cheese sandwiches and he taught me how he makes French toast. Mmm.
Here are your recipes:
Chicken Noodle Soup
One whole chicken, cleaned
one cup plain salt
one gallon water
3 – 5 sage leaves
salt and pepper
1 ½ bags egg noodles or homemade noodles from 3 eggs (for homemade noodles, see here)
The night before, soak chicken in covered bowl, in gallon water with one cup salt added. In the morning, drain and rinse chicken. Make sure it is cleaned of unnecessary parts. Boil chicken covered with water in large pot. Add all ingredients but salt. Simmer until flesh falls from bones, at least three hours. Cool. Debone. Return meat to broth, boil, and add egg noodles. Simmer until noodles are tender, thinning broth with added water, as desired. Adjust salt, if needed. Remove vegetables, if desired. Serve hot with crackers or bread and butter. Serves eight or more.
Simple Fruit Salad
one yellow apple (Opal?)
one red apple (Roma?)
½ cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 carton Greek yogurt
¼ cup raw honey
Peel orange and banana. Wash apples and pear. Cut all fruit into bite sizes. Mix all fruit together with remaining ingredients until well blended. This salad is outstanding for aiding digestion.
My Brother’s French Toast, Which Is Better Than Mine!
For ten slices of bread:
ten eggs (yes, one egg for each slice of bread!)
half that volume of milk
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Beat egg, milk, spices, and vanilla, thoroughly. Seriously soak each slice in some of this egg mixture until completely sogged. Set aside until all pieces are soaked. Pour any remaining mixture over already-soaked bread, using it all up.
Fry soaked bread in butter, at pancake temperature, until lightly browned. Turn and repeat. Serve with syrup, powdered sugar, and/or pureed fruit. Serves five.
Now: Invite me to spend the night! 🙂