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Entertaining, Military Style: Shoo Fly

The SpouseBUZZ authors recently had a conversation about guests in our kitchens. The "general" consensus was that we don't want other people messing around in our kitchens. I mentionedthat this is sometimes a problem when entertaining military families because let's face it, military wives seemwired to help each other out, that's what we do.

That means that when you throw a party or host a dinner, one (or six) military wives will inevitablyfollow you to the kitchen and want to help you clean the dishes, put away foodandtidy up.In addition to being wired to help, military wives are stubborn, so here's what usually happens:

I've got it, you just go have a good time.

No, let me help you out

No, really, It'll take me no time at all to get these loaded into the dishwasher

It'll go faster if I help

Seriously, go....

I'll just get this food put away for you while you do that

GOOOOOO

And so it goes until I finally threaten someone with loss of life and run them out of the kitchen. Truth is, I know my kitchen inside and out. I know where things go and I know how to clean dishes and load my dishwasher in record time. And besides that, I just don't want people working in my kitchen. I'm territorial about my kitchen. But also, when I invite guests over, I want them to relax and have fun, not work.

We're all different, though. Last year, I went to a party hosted by a military family. In the kitchen were about eight milspouses doing the domestic chores. The hostess seemed to welcome the help. I do always offer to help and if someone declines my offer, I don't beg or insist because I know how I am about kitchen/clean-up help.

What about you and your kitchen - paws off or, the more the merrier?

On a semi-related note, I'm hosting a Christmas party soon and I needa good recipe for a non-alcoholic holiday punch for the non-drinkers and children who will attend. Not a foamingpunch with ice cream and ginger ale, I'm thinking a nice,festivepunch - something red.Anyone have a great recipe they'd like to share?

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