Last Sunday, I invited 15 of our members and volunteers to come to our home for lunch.  The preparation for a large meal of 15 people can be overwhelming or it can be kept simple.  I served three kinds of pasta and three sauces with a large salad, pizza bread and a dessert.  It took me exactly 30 minutes to cook the entire meal. In truth, it took longer to reheat it after church, set the table and get ice in the glasses than it did to cook the meal.

Here are a few secrets I’ve learned over the years.

  1. This sounds simple but don’t sweat the small stuff.  If a bedroom isn’t spotlessly clean, close the door.
  2. Keep the menu simple. 
  3. If you don’t have time to prepare a meat, serve fried chicken as your main course. Most grocery store chains carry fried chicken that is cooked fresh in the store.  It is inexpensive and almost everyone loves it.  Your local store may also carry roasted chicken. 
  4. The menu can consist of:  Chicken, salad, rice or baked potatoes, a vegatable.  Dessert can be a store bought plain cake with ice cream on top and a prepared sauce.
  5. It is allowed to use the prepare salads from the grocery store.  Add a tomato, if you desire.
  6. For your vegetable, try serving frozen petite peas.  They cook in the microwave or on the stove top in five minutes and they are better tasting than their larger brothers.
  7. In simple terms, you can serve a large casserole or speghetti or lasana with a salad, simple dessert and people will love it and you. 

Other menu suggestions are

  1. A large leafy green salad topped with broiled chicken or fish and shredded cheese.  With both of these meats, the problem can be overcooking them.  They can be prepared quickly. 
  2. Pot roast cooked the night before with potatoes, onions and carrots.  Serve with rice and a salad. 
  3. Top a large dish of prepared stuffing  from a box with a chicken breast for each person eating.  Let them bake together until the chicken is cooked.  Serve with a large salad and dessert.
  4. Serve a salad plate with potato salad, leafy green salad, slice tomatoes and top with a thin slice of your favorite cheese, put a canned pear on a lettace leaf, top with yogart, sour cream or mayonnaise and cheese.  Add a relish of pickles.  Put on a deviled egg.  Slice into strips lunch meat.  It is great meal that takes minutes.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to slave all day to have guests.  Your members will be thrilled to be invited to come to your home.  The Bible teaches that we are to be people who practice hospitality.  Keep it simple and everyone, including you, will have a wonderful time  of friendship and building lasting relationships.