I like healthy food and getting as many veggies into my loved ones as possible. I also like comfort food and easy dinner preparation. Spaghetti soup is one of those recipes that fits both categories nicely. It is familiar and comforting but packed with veggies and made with items already found in your pantry and fridge!
For is there any practice less selfish, any labor less alienated, any time less wasted, than preparing something delicious and nourishing for people you love?” Michael Pollan in “Cooked”
Food and family. They belong together. Love is what motivates me to cook a meal for my family most everyday. I love how my kids and husband can taste my love for them when I cook all their favorite foods. When there are lots of roasted veggies on the table, our 11-year-old Maya feels loved. When there is a meal based around rice and beans, our 13-year-old Haeli, feels loved. And when I make soup of any kind (especially one that requires extra sriracha) Andy feels loved!
If you are going to have people in your home every week to eat a meal and share life with you, there are some tips we’ve learned along the way that make this a joy and not a burden! Lots of factors conspire against you to make it too hard and have you wishing you could back out, but with some intentional changes to your normal hosting habits, it is possible to look forward to it!
For the last few years, dozens of people have gathered in our home every Monday night for dinner. Most weeks we eat well, like really well, with minimal planning and without a lot of extra time or effort. At this point, it almost feels easy and this gathering carries on in our home even when we’re out-of-town. Of course, it didn’t start this way from the beginning and we want to share some of the lessons we learned (many the hard way) over the last few years.
One of the assumptions that people make when we tell them about our Monday night meals, is that we must live in a big fancy house. The truth is that our house is not small but it is far from fancy and the main things that make our home work well for hosting a missional community are intentional choices that nearly everyone could make (though perhaps not all at the same scale).
In this post I want to focus on just a few choices we made about the actual physical space in our home that makes it easier to host a few dozen people on a regular basis without a lot of extra effort.