Why reserve the best for the guest?
Posted Sunday, September 29 2013 at 00:00
When you have children around the house with lots of food stocked up, do not give them leftover foods. That special guest you preserve it for will likely never turn up. Let them enjoy from the bounty.
An elderly gentleman, a lover of good wine, got a nice and expensive bottle of old wine from a friend. He looked at the date of the production and realised it was a good year and he could only guess how much his friend had paid for this bottle. So, instead of opening it and savouring the wine, he decided to keep it for a very special occasion. A few weeks later, a small occasion came up and he went for his bottle, but then changed his mind and decided that he would wait for a better and more worthy occasion, so he left the bottle in the wine cellar. A few years passed and the same story repeated itself and the man could not bring himself round to open the expensive bottle of wine and drink it. One morning, the man did not wake up. A stroke took away his life while he was sleeping. He had no relatives so the municipality sent some workers to collect items from his house and dispatch them to needy people. While in the cellar, a young employee saw the wine bottle and upon reading the year figured out that this was actually a very old wine that might have gone bad! So he simply opened the bottle and emptied the wine in the drainage and sent the bottle for recycling.
As we were discussing this story with some friends, one of them said that he actually lived a similar situation when he purchased a small tin of expensive caviar (fish eggs) and also decided to wait a little bit for a good occasion to open the tin, and, of course, when the occasion came, the caviar being a perishable item had already expired and gone bad! At this point, I also shared my story about a china dining set that I purchased from Europe before I moved to Uganda, a pricey set that was also quite unique and beautiful. However, having no dish washing machine at home, I had to rely on washing the set by hand, and with the first broken plate, it was a quick decision to just leave the set in its box, and there it remained for years and the only one who enjoyed it was the box.
So what are we waiting for to have that special drink, eat that delicious food available today, or use the beautiful china set? Indeed, what are we waiting for? Is there another life time to live?
When food goes bad
I remember when we were young, my mother always kept some sweets and juice cans in a special cupboard just for guests. We were not allowed to come near this particular cupboard even if we passed days without having sweets or if guests did not show up for a while. Of course my mother was not starting a ritual. I remember my grandmother used to have such a store in her house too!
Sometimes the sweets would even attract ants or turn into butterfly cocoons but still children were not allowed to get close to them because a guest might arrive any time and rules of generosity dictated that something sweet should be available to serve them. As much as I understood the hospitality part of this habit, I was, and still am, against the extreme part of it, moderation is a very good educational tool. Too much of something makes it worthless and too little creates hungry eyes and minds.
Now or never
It is time to bring out that beautifully decorated china tea pot and cups from the cupboard, time to use that embroidered white cloth and set the table, bake a cake and share it with your children and guests. If you leave your favourite pen unused in a drawer, its ink will dry and its purpose will die.
So, what are you keeping in that cupboard? And when are you intending to bring it out?