19/07/2024

Perfect Day

Perfect Day Wedding

Survival Kit for Unexpected Guests

Survival Kit for Unexpected Guests

It has happened to us all. The one day we decide to lie around in our pajamas, watch TV and eat as many Cheetos as we can stuff into our mouths, it happens. The doorbell rings. NO! It can’t be! Unexpected and inconsiderate guests are standing right outside the door. Did they hear you crunching the Cheetos or laughing out loud at the comedy show you were watching? Is being very quiet and pretending you’re not at home an option? Well not anymore since your child just let out a huge shrieeeeek! You have to open the door now. But how? Both you and your home are a mess. The sink is full of dishes and the living room looks like Barney the Dinosaur blew up! With a little luck, prior planning, and nerves of steel you can pull off an impromptu get together in no time.

First things first, you have to open the door. Before you do, scramble and pick-up any junk in the living room. This is where your guests will be spending the most time and it should be clean. Throw everything into a laundry basket or pile it in a nearby closet. It does not matter where you put it, just get rid of it. Now, open the door. Once your guests have been properly greeted. Escort them to the sofa and invite them to sit there while you run to the kitchen and have a mini-nervous breakdown. Just kidding! Be sure to turn on the TV or provide your guests with a family photo album. You need to keep them busy while you are in the kitchen.

Offering your guests an icy cold drink is expected. Why not wow your guests with a yummy appetizer to go with it? A fast and easy recipe is hummus and pita chips. Toss 2 cans of chick peas (15.5 ozs.), ¼ cup liquid from the can, 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice, ¼ cup tahini (sesame paste), 2 cloves of garlic, 1/8 tsp. Cayenne pepper, and a pinch of salt into a food processor. Whiz it and your done. Transfer to a pretty serving bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika. To make the pita chips you will need at least 4 pieces of white pita bread. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 or 190 C. Stack the bread and cut in half. Cut each half into 3 triangles and gently pull apart to separate into 2 pieces. Arrange the triangles on a large, non-stick, baking sheet and lightly spray with a cooking oil spray. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Bake for 7 minutes until they begin to brown and flip. Bake for 5 more minutes. They will be crisp and golden brown. Arrange them on a large platter and place a big handful of green olives in the center. A great accompaniment to this appetizer would be glasses of iced tea or fresh fruit juice. Serve.

The next and biggest obstacle to face when dealing with unexpected guests is serving dinner. There is no time to thaw meat or slave over a hot stove. You’re not Martha Stewart! So I say, order takeout! There are a plethora of delectable restaurants in Kuwait that deliver. The key to serving takeout for dinner is not to serve your guests from the paper/styrofoam containers but rather use your best dishes. Reheat any of the food if necessary and arrange everything on beautiful plates and platters. It is also an excellent idea to serve condiments in small bowls. It is a huge ‘faux pas’ to set bottles of ketchup or salad dressings before your guests. You are ready to serve!

You are in the homestretch now. The mission is almost complete. All you need now is a dessert that dazzles!! This is where the prior planning comes into play. Unexpected guests are an unfortunate fact of life. So, I recommend always keeping a cake in the freezer. A simple Betty Crocker box cake will do. Mix and bake according to package directions. Cool completely and cut the cake into thirds. Wrap each piece in aluminum foil and freeze.

To make a quick and easy dessert, remove the cake from the freezer before serving the appetizer. It needs about 2 hours to thaw. I always keep a 1-liter pack of KDD Long-Life Whipping Cream in my fridge and you should too! In your blender, whip 1 C. of the cream, ½ tsp. vanilla extract, and 1 tblsp. of powdered sugar. Chill in the freezer. Cut the cake into large squares. Place one slice of cake on each serving plate (based on how may guests you have). Grab the whipped cream from the freezer and rewhip. Put a generous dollop of whipped cream on top of the cake and place a handful of fresh berries, or even some sliced bananas, on the side. Be sure to offer both tea and coffee with your dessert. You are ready to serve!

As you wave goodbye to your unexpected guests, on the way out of your door, you can be sure that they were delighted with your refined service and entertainment. So much so that they will be back and, of course, unexpected again. But next time you will be prepared. And hopefully you will check the mirror to make sure there are no Cheetos dangling in you hair!