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What Do You Offer Guests Between Meal Times?


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Snowbird friends whom we haven't seen in a year are stopping at our home on their way to meet another couple about an hour farther north of us. They are meeting the other couple for lunch at noon.  They will be at our home for only an hour, arriving at 10AM and leaving for their lunch engagement around 11AM.  

 

We will get together for a longer visit and a meal in a few weeks.  They are stopping now as they have a item for me that they were so kind to buy on a recent trip to Guatemala.  Plus they have never seen our home, which we bought 2 years ago. 

 

I am used to offering food whenever we have expected guests...it was how I was brought up (first generation Americans who were poor but always had food for guests).  But 10AM is such an odd time.

 

I am thinking of making some deviled eggs.  And I'd like one more plate, but can't think of something else that is make-ahead that would complement the eggs.  The wife is a vegetarian (but eats eggs, obviously).  

 

Suggestions would be most welcome!

 

Edited by gulfporter (log)
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First thing to pop into my mind is coffee cake.  Arey posted this most wonderful apple fruit cake: Mother's Applesauce Cake (Poor Man's Fruitcake) which his Mother got from a friend many years ago.  It's the sort of loaf cake you eat with a slice of strong cheddar or just butter along with coffee.  I don't know if I can print here on eGullet but I can certainly send it to you in a message. I made a triple recipe and have cut the cakes in halves and frozen them for sudden mid-day visitors.

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Both good tips on coffee cake and scones....for most anyone else.  We live in FL and it's too hot to turn on the oven.  

 

It so happens that last time we went to  their home, they served crudites.   A really nice assortment that I don't want to compete with.  Sigh.  

 

Now I'm thinking stuffed dates (with cream cheese flavored with orange zest, some rolled in nuts, dip a few in chocolate, some plain), maybe an assortment in lieu of the deviled eggs??

Edited by gulfporter (log)
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My first thought was fruit - melon slices, pineapple spears, whatever looks good. Maybe with some dry sausage and/or prosciutto (to go with the melon). And cheese? Olives? I always get carried away with this type of assortment.

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Like ElainaA said, a fresh fruit plate was my first thought, along with something like banana bread or coffee cake - although I now know it's too hot to bake, is it too hot to shop, too?    

The stuffed dates really appeal to me because they sort of bridge the sweet/savory divide.  

 

 

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Sherry is the wine most appropriate for 'the elevenses' -from a distant memory of a book I read in college.

 

How about a terrine accompanied by cornichons and assorted cheeses? -And maybe a side salad? (just don't wrap it in bacon!)

 

Finger sandwiches are a good option. Make sure to make them colorful. Poach a couple pieces of chickens and make curried chicken sandwiches with diced mango, maybe a swiss cheese variation on pimento cheese (add chopped chives for more color), cream cheese with pesto and sliced tomatoes, ham salad (maybe add a little chipotle or bbq sauce to the mayo), you get the idea. 4-5 sandwiches cut up makes a big spread. Extra points for different breads. Decorate the platter with small bunches of grapes and maybe some strawberries and you're set.

 

If you ran the broiler briefly, you could toast up a sliced loaf of bread and make an assortment of bruscetta.

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4 minutes ago, Lisa Shock said:

Sherry is the wine most appropriate for 'the elevenses' -from a distant memory of a book I read in college.

 

How about a terrine accompanied by cornichons and assorted cheeses? -And maybe a side salad? (just don't wrap it in bacon!)

 

Finger sandwiches are a good option. Make sure to make them colorful. Poach a couple pieces of chickens and make curried chicken sandwiches with diced mango, maybe a swiss cheese variation on pimento cheese (add chopped chives for more color), cream cheese with pesto and sliced tomatoes, ham salad (maybe add a little chipotle or bbq sauce to the mayo), you get the idea. 4-5 sandwiches cut up makes a big spread. Extra points for different breads. Decorate the platter with small bunches of grapes and maybe some strawberries and you're set.

 

If you ran the broiler briefly, you could toast up a sliced loaf of bread and make an assortment of bruscetta.

 

That seems like a lot of food considering they'll have eaten breakfast around 8AM and are eating lunch at noon!   They are light eaters (we've known them for years, used to be neighbors).   Like I said 10AM is an odd hour.  Gonna go with some sort of fruit.   If not the dates, then maybe a mix of plain and chocolate-dipped strawberries (which are amazingly sweet right now in FL).   

 

 

 

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It honestly sounds like they will be craving nothing more than a cup of tea and your company. If someone dropped in on me like that I'd make a pot of good tea and break out some nice shop bought biscuits to go with, and show them round, mugs in hand. My husband evaporates them so we usually have something sweet on hand like that.  /Brit

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I think if you put any amount of effort into something to offer them at 10 AM you will guilt them into feeling obliged to partake.  I am of the camp that says a cuppa tea and a (store bought) biscuit (cookie). 

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4 minutes ago, Anna N said:

I think if you put any amount of effort into something to offer them at 10 AM you will guilt them into feeling obliged to partake.  I am of the camp that says a cuppa tea and a (store bought) biscuit (cookie). 

And a mimosa ;) 

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I strongly agree with Anna N and Tere: Forget the eggs, etc. -- tea (or coffee or other beverage of their choice) and a very modest pastry or cookie would be perfect. (When I was a kid, it would have been Entenmann's. Or Stella D'Oro.)  Remember, they'll be eating lunch in two hours.

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Just yourself....

they are coming to see you.  Maybe something to drink since they have probably traveled and eaten breakfast then they are going out to lunch.  I know I would appreciate an Arnie Palmer or water or iced tea.    

 

will see you in about 8 months........

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I'm also in the camp of offering them coffee/tea/fruit juice and some store bought cookies/biscotti. You can do more when they visit you the 2nd time for your longer visit & meal.

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Much as I'm a fan of mimosas at brunch-time (and I most certainly am), these folks have another hour's worth of driving. Think I'd save the alcohol for the return trip. 

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