Thursday, December 23, 2010

Help Yourself Hospitality - Hot Drinks

I have a big family.

I come from a big family.

My husband comes from a big family.

When family isn't around and we are lonely,
we invite a lot of friends over to fill up the house.

In other words,
there can be a lot of people underfoot at my house,
at any given time.

We love having people around,
and love making them feel at home enough to
Help Themselves.

I started with jars of mini-marshmallows and red hots.

I added festive tubs of hot chocolate and hot cider mixes.

I added one pretty hot pot.

Mixed all together on a metal tray,
and you have a
Help Yourself Hospitality Center for Hot Drinks.

We normally don't drink a lot of either,
and certainly don't give my kids  marshmallows to eat,
but at the holidays,
there are some rules that are meant to be broken.

Of course, the coffee pot is always on.
Regular coffee until evening meal, then we switch to decaff.
I didn't want to confuse you,
but the evening meal is called supper if you are from farm country,
because lunch is called dinner,
and lunch is the meal you bring to the fields between dinner and supper.


Good ol' Norwegians drink a lot of black coffee.
Nothing  is added to the coffee,
no milk and no sugar,
we drink it black,
because you dunk your cookies in it.
My Mom calls cookies and coffee,
"A Norwegian Breakfast."

I love being Norwegian.

The generations that have lived through the Depression make
their coffee so weak, you can see the bottom of the cup through the coffee.
My brothers call this "Lutheran Church Basement Coffee."
Norwegians that know the Depression is over,
make their coffee strong.
Whoever was up first to make the coffee in the morning,
determines if I add a little hot water to mine.

In the mornings,
I feel no pressure to get up and rush out to the kitchen,
because I have established the ability for my guests to
Help Yourself.

I don't have to get up,
until I smell the coffee.

(Tomorrow I'll show you what I do for Help Yourself Breakfast.)


  1. I don't know if you remember, but I stayed at your house in Fargo once (I was visiting with Allison Pettys for her wedding shower). I usually dislike staying with people I don't know well, but you guys were so relaxed and friendly that I still remember how nice it was.

  2. How cute - love the red hots! We have a coffee bar that is always up - we call it our latte ministry =0] People will stop by just for a drink, and we will sit and visit and pray together!

    I can't wait to see your breakfast ideas!

  3. Dana, I am so glad you reminded me! That is the other issue of having a lot of company, I don't always remember all of them. I LOVE them all, but might not always remember each instant. Thank you for the kind comment. You should come again and bring all those adorable BABIES!

  4. Love the hot drink station idea, especially using the canning jars for marshmellows and red hots. Everything looked so festive and welcoming.

  5. Mindy, I loved the post and I think Dana's comment is a resounding affirmation that your hospitality is appreciated and memorable!

  6. It just looks inviting, all packaged up like that on the counter. Makes me want a cup of cocoa.

  7. What a good idea! I so wouldn't remember the red hots! And...this is something I could get all together while the baby isn't crying!


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