November 29, 2012

What's Really Behind the Art of Hospitality

 

The day runs long and by 8 p.m., I’ve washed my hands of all of this, baking and decorating, cleaning and preparing. I love this season and it’s just a couple of days until then, and for now, I’m determined to just rest.

Tomorrow, at my MOPS group, we’ll gather at tables sharing a meal, and some much needed conversation. We’ll listen to the wise words of women who’ve raised the kids and done the homeschooling, and walked the hard line of early motherhood, where you wonder if you’re really going to make it across the tight rope.

My feet throb from being on them, and as I wring that cinnamon dusted dishrag out for the umpteenth time this evening, I close my eyes and count gifts. Children tucked in beds, apples ripe for the baking, chocolate ganache and a pot roast meal that satiates and fills. I listen as the water swirls right down that drain pipe in the sink, thinking how easy it is, in the bustle of hospitality to lose yourself down the black hole of perfectly made beds and spit-shined floors and windows without fingerprints.

My friend wrote a hilarious good-bye post to Martha Stewart and every time I think of it, I laugh out loud for all the times I’ve attempted the ridiculous expert crafts detailed in her magazine, and failed miserably.

Hospitality doesn’t have to be monogrammed towels and home churned butter on the table. Sometimes it’s a Lego scattered play room, with an open seat on the couch next to a half dressed Barbie doll. Hospitality around here might mean October pumpkins turning themselves inside out on the front porch, and school books scattered across the table.

Tomorrow, for my MOPS ladies, it will mean Apple Cinnamon Oat muffins and Pumpkin Ganache cake. We’ll hunch ’round the table and share stories over coffee and tea brewed by the Keurig machine set up on the rolling cart.

I almost lost sight of this today, as I chased children from under my feet in front of the hot stove, and as I rushed them to bed, I nearly forgot what matters when it comes to hospitality–it’s always the heart behind the home.

In The Kitchen {A Recipe} Apple Cinnamon Oat Muffins

Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 22 mins | Total time: 37 mins | Serves: 12

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Qucik cooking oats
  • 1¼ cup flour (all purpose, spelt, whole wheat)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspooons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup (1-2 medium) shredded Granny Smith Apple
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups (one standard sized muffin pan). Combine all dry ingredients.
     
  2. In bowl, beat egg, buttermilk, and oil until blended. Add in apples. Add flour mixture to apple mixture and blend until batter is just moistened (it will be lumpy). Stir in nuts.
     
  3. Spoon batter into greased muffin tins and bake 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove immediately from pan and cool.
Originally Published: November 29, 2012
Category: Food and Hospitality
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