Having a house in Maine means lots of company which I thoroughly enjoy, but it also means going for days without writing a word except in the ship’s log! Having just said goodby to friends, it seems a good time to share what I’ve learned about hosting visitors.
The most important thing is to provide comfortable spaces that allow guests to unpack and settle in. A bedside reading light is always a good idea as is having books and magazines for nighttime perusal. Adults like having their own bathroom, and I make sure each has shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and, of course, fluffy, fresh smelling towels. There’s also a hair dryer just in case someone forgets to bring their own.
Before guests arrive, I stock the refrigerator and pantry with foodstuffs making sure to have checked in advance to see if anyone has any special dietary needs. Most people don’t expect us to provide much in the way of meals, but I like to have some things ready to share. For breakfast, there’s generally a made ahead of time egg casserole ready to pop into the oven and always there are muffins bursting with those wonderful little Maine blueberries. These, too, are so easy to make in advance and freeze until time to use them. The important thing is to make it easy for guests to find something to eat that will make them feel at home and, of course, you never want to run out of coffee in the morning!
For most of our guests, traveling to Maine is an all day affair. Rather than go out for dinner the first night, we have a lobster dinner with lobster a few hours out of the water thanks to my lobster guy.
To finish dinner off, there is blueberry cobbler topped with ice cream made in minutes in a little electric freezer, one of my favorite kitchen tools. We may have another dinner or two at home, but we alternate with meals out at one or another of the wonderful restaurants in the area.
The whole key to having guests is to enjoy yourself and not try to do too much. I’ve found that most people are more comfortable in our home when they feel they are helping out whether it’s assisting with a meal or cleaning up after. I welcome their participation not only because it makes things easier on me but because it’s fun to work together. No time is this more true than at 5 PM tini time when we relax on the porch for appetizers and drinks that everyone has had a hand in preparing.
Having houseguests is fun so long as you don’t make it too hard on yourself. If you have great tips, do pass them on.
i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind