Having people in your home can seem pretty daunting, can’t it? Feelings of doubt and unpreparedness creep in and then the door stays shut. Is my home clean enough? Is my home big enough? Can I cook food that people want to eat? Will my kids be too crazy? Will I be too crazy? The answer to all of these questions is YES. And even if the answers are NO, that’s OK too!
My husband and I often joke about what our house words would be, Game of Thrones style. One that keeps popping up is, “Meh, that’s good enough”. And as someone who can totally be a perfectionist, good enough can be pretty freeing! As I prepare to have people into my home, my hope is that they feel comfortable and safe. For us, that means picking up toys so that you don’t trip over a garbage truck, sweeping up dog hair and pollen, and having food to eat. I attempt to manage (aka hide) some of the chaos. That’s basically it. That’s good enough. Will some people come into our house and think that its not clean enough, or organized enough? Probably. But my goal for our house isn’t perfection, so I’m ok with that. Hopefully the food and company will win them over! I honestly believe that people love to come into a space that feels like “home”. And a “home” that is stressing over perfection isn’t very comfortable or safe, is it? So, yes. Take care to prepare for your guests, but also accept that there is also time for good enough.
And you know what else people love to do? Bring their own food. So let them! This has been a hard thing for me to learn. When I used to host parties or get-togethers, I wanted to be in control of all the food and serve everyone. But that only led to me being SUPER stressed, and resulted in me making WAY too much food that no one really ate. Having kids helped prune some of those controlling tendencies because…well, it was no longer possible to be in the kitchen all day preparing for a BBQ. Letting your friends and neighbors pitch in not only relieves some stress, but it invites them into the kitchen and into your home in a different way. Its one thing to be invited in and be served. Its another to be invited in and share in the “work”. When we are invited in alongside our neighbors and friends, a different type community forms. One that says that you trust your friends to pitch it. One that says you love them enough to share in the task of feeding each other. One that says thank you for sharing the load. And as much as we all loved to be served, we also love to feel needed.
This Green Bean + Potato salad is one of my favorite things to bring to summer gatherings. It can be made ahead of time and served cold. It can be made last minute and served warm (hello procrastination my old friend!). Plus it doesn’t have mayo, so it can sit out on the counter or picnic table without getting funky! Win Win Win!
Green Bean + Potato Salad
- 1 lb green beans
- 2 large red potatoes
- Olive oil
- 1 tbsp grainy mustard
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1/4-1/2 lemon, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Clean green beans. I like to just snap the stem ends off and remove any funky looking beans. You can also snap them in half if you so choose.
- Slice potatoes. Think of them like a crouton for your salad. I usually cut the potatoes in quarters, and then cut then into 1/4 inch slices.
- Place beans and potatoes on separate baking sheets, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast green beans and potatoes for about 20 minutes, until softened, but a little brown and crispy. Toss them about half way through. If they need a little extra crispiness, turn on the broiler for 1-2 minutes at the end.
- While everything is cooking, make the dressing. Combine mustard, olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
- When the beans and potatoes are done, transfer to a bowl and dress while they are still warm. Taste and see if you need more salt, pepper, or lemon juice.
- Serve warm or cold. Both favorites.