How to overcome anxiety over last minute guests

by Sandy Coughlin
The Reluctant Entertainer

Our friends were coming for dinner, a last-minute invite.

I didn’t know what to make! Immediately my mind froze up. I couldn’t think what to make for dinner, and I became anxious.

Does this ever happen to you?

I’ve learned to take a different approach though, to anxiety. Instead of letting it creep in, I tell myself, I can do this.I don’t let all the “what-ifs” start whirling around in my head, but try to focus on what is most important.

By the way, what is more important with last minute guests … the appearance of your house or the food you serve?

I’d say the food you’ll serve.

We have to remember that our guests are not coming to see our homes, they are coming for fellowship and to commune with us around the table.

I have to take my mind off of myself, and the state of my house. (And make sure one bathroom is clean and ready to go!)

Back to focusing on the food: This night I thought about the ingredients I had on hand, one being fresh ground lean turkey in the fridge. I always stock beans in the cupboard, and it doesn’t take too much time to whip up some brown rice on the stove.

I’ve been using Jeffrey Saad’s seasoning mix for about a year now and let me tell you, his Mexican Spice Blend is fantastic. Mix your meat, add the seasoning, add in the beans and rice and you have a beautiful enchilada mixture.

My daughter helped me.

I made green and red enchiladas (green sauce and red sauce – love Trader’s Joe’s enchilada sauce).

Two pans were plenty for the number of guests coming to dinner.

And we served with a fresh green salad.

Enchiladas are some of the easiest ingredients to keep on hand. I often make the meat/rice/beans mixture ahead of time and freeze it in Ziploc bags.

No excuses when last-minute company comes!

I’m usually prepared.

And I’ll usually talk myself out of being anxious right away, so I can center on the menu.

Do you struggle with anxiety when entertaining?

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