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Old 11-22-2009, 01:08 AM   #1
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Too much help in the Kitchen?

Not sure where to post this. I would prefer that guests do not help me prepare the meal or clean up, except for my DD. Is there a polite way to ask them to go sit down and let me do it? I am not snooty, I just like to do it myself. Any thoughts on the subject? Betsy.

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Old 11-22-2009, 07:39 AM   #2
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If you are too busy cleaning up and not spending time with your guests, then there might be an issue. If they are guests, they want to spend time with you. Either let them help so they can visit with you or do it yourself, later. They should not have to wait while you clean.
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:07 AM   #3
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Betsy, I agree with you on this. My kitchen is open (across a counter) into the living room. I can still participate in the conversation while I work.

My friends know, (and if they forget I remind them) that there is an invisible line between the living & dining rooms and MY kitchen! If I need help, I'll ask.
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:10 AM   #4
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Having an open kitchen helps, but I still think that it's rude to make your guests wait or sit somewhere else while you are in the kitchen. Prepare your stuff ahead of time, then clean up later if you are that concerned about your territory.
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyogal View Post
Having an open kitchen helps, but I still think that it's rude to make your guests wait or sit somewhere else while you are in the kitchen. Prepare your stuff ahead of time, then clean up later if you are that concerned about your territory.
I agree completely! Time with your guests is important, cleaning the kitchen is not - at that time.

Perhaps serving coffee or some after dinner drink could get everyone moved into the living room and their thoughts away from cleanup. A friendly diversion is what you need, just as magician does.
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Old 11-24-2009, 03:43 PM   #6
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Hey; great question and has always been a bit of a quandary for me. I find that most people are not of any help in my kitchen and even worse when it comes to cleaning up. Helping before the meal I have solved by supplying an array of appetizers on coffee tables in the living room, and having a bar set up, even if it’s just carafes of wine or non alcoholic beverages. My guests busy themselves with the drinks an munchies.

Of course in decades of entertaining, I have learned to organize my meals so that there is little left to do by the time my guests arrive and I can spend time with them.

I do not clean up while my guests are still there. I much prefer to leave it until they have gone. AND I find it a great big pain in the back side for them to attempt to help with the clean up. For some reason, when most people think they are helping, they stack the dirty plates on top of one another with the scraps of food and silver still on the plates, thus producing teetering towers of plates, now gooey on both sides. When other people try to clear up, they bring everything in from the dining room and cover every available space in the kitchen with a random assortment of dirty dishes, leftover food etc. and there is no space left to work in. I much prefer to leave everything on the dining room table and bring it into the kitchen in categories, that can be handled far more easily than the quagmire that is produced when my guests help. This is why I far prefer to begin the clean up after my guests have gone.

After we finish the meal, is the time I can kick back and enjoy my guests.

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Old 11-24-2009, 03:54 PM   #7
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In our home, clean up is for after the guests leave or the next day. We take a minute to refrigerate perishables and that's it.

If guests offer to help, I tell them I didn't invite them over so they could help with the dishes and that I'd rather spend time visiting with them.
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Old 11-24-2009, 06:43 PM   #8
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I enjoyed reading each reply to my question. I found good points in each one. I have always made it a practice of cleaning up after my guests leave, but these are house guests for the weekend, so I am anticipating helpers. I hope not. Happy Thanksgiving. Thank you all.
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:48 PM   #9
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House guests are different... give them something benign to do (peeling vegetables, scraping plates, etc); that way they can "help." otherwise, they could be offended, and one's kitchen "territory" is not worth that.
or find an activity for them after dinner.
and be honest with them. If you are comfortable enough to have them stay at your house, then you ought to be comfortable enough to explain your "rules."
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:44 PM   #10
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in the words of my mother: "No matter where you put your guests, they seem to love the kitchen best"

Point blank, just get it out there, tell em you have it under control, GO RELAX!

And if you are prepped accordingly, there should be little involvement if this is a predicament you don't care for. . .

as for the cleaning, let DD and company take care of that, lol. that should be your time to decompress!
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