We have family visiting for Thanksgiving so I spent all last week getting ready.
I love to plan menus and make special foods that I know they will love. (More on the menu below. )
One of my guests is a reader who likes history and spy novels so I have picked up from the library several books for him to choose from.
I also bought a new super bright reading lamp for this same guest. There is never enough light!
We’re mapping out movies to see at the theater (Bond or “Lincoln” anyone?) and picked up several movies and TV series DVDs we think they will like. (We want to introduce them to “Downton Abbey” and “Homeland.”)
Our guests will take over Rose’s room so I am laundering all my fluffiest bedding to make them an inviting bed. And I picked up some new thick towels and bath mats and some lovely soaps too.
I’ve got a day trip planned to Sedona for them to see the Red Rocks. (The weather is finally lovely – chilly in the morning and at night but warm in the middle of the day.)
We also picked up a little metal fire pit to sit around and make smores with the kids.
As for the menu, I am making all their favorites. I am working ahead on some things such as caramelizing six pounds of onions that I can use for quick onion soup for lunches or a dinner. I’m also making Julia Child’s quiche recipe that I can freeze and reheat while they are here. I am making an ice box coconut cake that I made six months ago when they visited and is still being talked about. (It has to sit in the fridge for thee days while it all melds together.)
I’ve got chicken and dumplings, chili, fake Honeybaked Ham, and steak with roasted beets and Brussels Sprouts planned for dinners.
I’m also planning our new favorite pumpkin pancakes for breakfast and baked French toast. I am considering a banana and walnut slowcook oatmeal that I think would be cozy to wake up to.
So what are your favorite ways to make family and friends feel welcome when they come to stay? What are must-haves in the house? What recipes are family favorites? How do you have nice meals every night and still keep up with your regular family stuff?