Yesterday I woke up at 7.45 AM and realised I had just over an hour to get up and dressed (for a wedding later in the day) and prepare the brunch for a dear friend who was arriving at 9.00 AM. Phew!
I am sharing with you my best tips for getting a simple meal prepared very quickly!
Heartistry Tip One: Set the table first
We are currently staying in a friend's condo and have a tiny patio. I put a card table that I recently bought second hand outside. I threw on a tablecloth and then jumped in the shower. At least we were part way there with getting the table ready!
Heartistry Tip Two: Keep some hospitality items in stock
Pre-decide on a theme and purchase a few items that co-ordinate.with that theme. I love poppies so through the years have purchased poppy table cloths, some poppy napkins/serviettes and recently bought some inexpensive poppy themed bowls. (I bought the pottery poppies at a market in St Hippolyte-du-Fort at the Heartistry Experience in France last year.) Having some hospitality items that coordinate and are ready to go, cuts down the time deciding what to use on the table.
Confession: I have a few different themes, such as birds, bicycles (to match one of my logos) and more! But start with one and you will be all set!
Heartistry Tip Three: Keep the food simple
Due to the fact that we will involved in a wedding and the weekend was really busy plus I had hosted people for tea the day before, I had not shopped for the extra food for brunch (I was going to wake up early to do that!) I recruited my husband and we walked (almost ran) to the closest shop which is a small Central American grocery store. We decided who would shop for which item and we power-shopped looking for items that were easy to prepare in the 15 minutes we had left! On the way home our friend texted to say she would be 10 minutes late which was great news! We were happy to prepare the food with her chatting to us in the kitchen, but we did need to be home to welcome her when she arrived!
Heartistry tip Four: Ask for help
It is important not to do everything yourself if at all possible. Brett prepared the sausages and fried tomatoes while I finished setting the table. Sometimes we have to let go of perfectionism and use the ready and willing hands. They may not prepare the food the way you would have done, but as we know, "Done is better than perfect!"
Heartistry tip five: Repurpose left-overs
My brunch was far from gourmet but it was tasty, colourful and quick. I served left-over macarons from the tea the day before (which had been bought from the shop) and cut open a pomegranate that we had been given. I had a pack of opened chicken sausages which we served with scrambled egg and fried tomatoes. We purchased a pack of berries, some peaches, a few pastries, French bread and orange juice from the local store.
Heartistry tip Six: Involve your guests
When our friend Kim arrived she gave us champagne, chocolate, strawberries and a lovely card for our anniversary which was the next day. I immediately invited her to help prepare the strawberries in the kitchen while we finished off the final meal preparations and made coffee.
Heartistry tip Seven: Relax and enjoy your guests
Once you have done your best to prepare a pretty and table and have at least pulled together something to eat, relax and enjoy your friend's company. The greatest gift you can give someone is your undivided attention as you listen well. Authentic friendship also involves opened your own heart and sharing what is happening in your life and there is no better place to do that than around the table.
Heartistry tip eight: When possible don't oversleep!
I like to say, "The More Before, the Less the Stress!" I don't encourage people to leave all the preparations to the very last minute, but if it means the last minute or not at all, I would rather try and pull simple something together. The more one offers hospitality, the esker it gets to make a simple meal, served on a pretty table.
I encourage you to continue opening your heart and your home (and setting an alarm!)
Please share your comments below (and please click the share button to pass this on to your friends)
What tips do you have that help you to prepare a meal quickly?
Have you ever overslept on an important occasion and had to come up with a plan?