More company

From teenagers to retirees, we have hosted the gamut this month.  Mr. T&C's aunt and her beloved visited for a few days en route from Maine to Florida.  Having retirees is quite different from having a house full of kids.  Food is somewhat less important, or, more accurately, quality is more important than quantity.  This was an extremely busy work week for the mister and me, so I relied on the Crock Pot to feed everyone.  While we were busily re-merchandising the store, Mrs. Crock Pot was turning chicken thighs, carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, and thyme into a delicious and colorful dinner.  We added a salad of baby greens and apple slices, and we were all set.  These particular retirees like to sleep in, or at least avoid the morning rush hour of bookbags, lunch bags, and breakfast, so again I offered juices, cereals, oatmeal, yogurt, and fruit.  The must-have item, though, is coffee.  There are several good brands available--even Publix has a fine store brand for everyday, but I do love Seattle's Finest.  More than Starbucks.  More than Peet's.  The aroma of Seattle's Finest brewing is amazing.  If you can grind your beans just before you serve, that is the best.  If that's not possible, measure and brew to the package directions. Don't skimp. Weak coffee is just not worth bothering about.

Another staple of the good host is, of course, a fine set of sheets.  My favorites are from Bed, Bath, & Beyond.  They are 600 count, 100% cotton.  They are quite thick and have a slightly puckered, or dobby, texture, which makes for a very crisp bed. I discovered these sheets when staying at a friend's house on Saint Simon's Island, and I became obsessed with finding them.  Thankfully, our hostess was forthcoming about where she got them!  I was fully prepared for her to say they were ordered from a linen shop in NYC, so I was really excited to know that I could get them here.  About once a month, Bed, Bath, & Beyond includes a twenty percent off coupon in the newspaper, so there is no reason to pay full price.  Although for these sheets, I would.

Mr. T&C's aunt and uncle have lived most of their lives in New England, so to share part of our culture, we wanted them to enjoy a Southern delicacy.  On previous visits, we had served up some cheese grits and turnip greens.  We had demonstrated and served the quintessential tomato sandwiches.  They had enjoyed barbecue.  So, Middle and Mr. T&C decided they were ready--Hot and Ready, that is--to taste the South's favorite pastry, Krispy Kremes.  Mr. T&C walked in with the box, and both Aunt and Uncle said, "Oh, yes, we get those from the grocery store sometimes."  Mr. T&C just laughed.  "Have you ever had a hot one?" he asked.  "No, what do you mean?"  I had already begun pouring glasses of milk.   "Here you go, try one."  Well, I won't try to capture the sounds and expressions that followed that first bite.  I'm afraid it wouldn't translate all that well.  Let's just say that they seemed to enjoy the hot doughnuts.  Mr. T&C seemed to enjoy his role as a Southern host, too, and the funny thing is, he had his first hot Krispy Kreme in Boston!

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