I remember when I first hosted my in-laws at my place for dinner. It was a nerve racking experience because I knew that they would non-intentionally judge me for every detail that went into making the evening memorable. I had plates, silverware, glasses, food, and some simple simple decorations to make the space more inviting. I made rice, salmon, roasted vegetables, potatoes, and salad. I think I was cooking right up until the moment they knocked on the door. I have never been solely responsible for cooking for 6 people, so I was very nervous. One think a friend had said to me stayed in my mind and helped me get through the evening. About a day earlier my friend said, “Don’t worry. It doesn’t matter how much food you serve, or how good it is (or isn’t), what matters is how you host them.” Aha…now that brought peace to my mind. I suddenly didn’t care what my plates looked like and that I had a small dining table. I finally stopped worrying about my cooking and just focused on making everyone feel loved. I had no doubt in my mind that I could do that and I did.
I received compliments on the food and to this day I’m still not sure if that was sincere, but I do know that everyone felt comfortable and enjoyed the time we shared.
I share this with you to bring some peace as you prepare for hosting a family or someone of a different culture. There is no need to cook something from your guests’ native country. You know if you try that, it will be appreciated, but it likely won’t be as good as their native dish they have tasted before, so stick to what you know for that first dinner party.
A couple of points for you to take note:
- Respect the other culture, without compromising yours
- Be yourself
- Have fun