One of my favorite things to do is fellowship with others. If guests will be coming to our home, I love planning the menu, thinking about decorations, and thinking about conversations we might have. The seminary Bill attended offered a hospitality class for wives of seminary students. I never took the class, and a couple of nights ago I regretted it.
We had a wonderful couple over who we go to church with. Since this was the first time we would be spending time with this couple alone, I spent a lot of time planning, wanting to make sure they felt welcomed in our home. I searched cook books and found an amazing recipe for four-cheese lasagna. I made it ahead of time so the day would be easy and I would be able to spend more time with the couple than in the kitchen.
The couple arrived right on time, and we ate dinner shortly afterward. The wife ate the portion I gave her and graciously complimented my cooking. I was pleased with the success of the evening thus far.
After dinner, we went to the couches to sit and talk. We enjoyed their fellowship so much, but at one point in the conversation the wife mentioned that she was raised vegetarian but that she now eats chicken, too. As her words sank in, I felt more and more mortified. I had just served her lasagna with 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef in it. Bill and I almost spoke at the same time, “You don’t eat red meat!?” She smiled knowingly and was quick to reassure us, “I’ve eaten it before.” Before!!? I felt horrible to say the least and must have apologized 70 times 7 times. She was so sweet and tried her hardest to convince me she wasn’t bothered in the least and did enjoy dinner.
I have always asked about food preferences of guests beforehand, but I had failed to do so in this case. Oops! One thing I did learn from the teacher of the hospitality class during a different meeting was to keep records of preferences of your guests. In my hospitality folder, it now says, “(name of victim whom I will not reveal)–Stick with chicken. Do not serve red meat, especially 1 1/2 pounds of it.”