When we open our home for others, there is often a silent heart struggle between whether we are showing hospitality, or merely entertaining. Sometimes the two concepts seem synonymous and they look largely the same, but I am coming to understand how largely different they are as a matter of the heart.
Entertaining is welcoming someone who you love and enjoy into your home. It is largely about spending time together and enjoying the company of one another. You bring out your best things and you serve your best meal. The problem with entertaining is that it all too often becomes all about me, the host or hostess. The focus can quickly change from loving and serving your guests to impressing your guests; it can quickly become self-centered. Everything can turn into a show, an occasion for praise; the focus is no longer on serving or even enjoying the company of your guests but impressing them. When opening your home turns this direction, you find yourself becoming frazzled if things do not go as planned, and a successful evening is judged by the number of compliments offered. I speak from experience here, can you tell?
Hospitality, on the other hand, is welcoming someone into your home in order to love, serve, and enjoy them. The actions might look the same, but the heart is different; it is others-centered. You bring out your best things and serve your best meal in order to honor your guest. Your time together is less about you, and more about how you can serve, love and enjoy them. The focus is not on the success of a well-executed meal, but rather is on blessing those who are in your home.
I don't want to come across saying that it is wrong to have friends over for an impressive meal, but I hope that each year I might do less entertaining, and more hospitality. Hospitality seems to emphasize love of others despite myself; it calls me to open my home and life to both friends and strangers, to those who I enjoy and those who annoy, whether I am on top of my game or exhausted at the end of a week. Being a gracious hostess means that when others walk away from our home, they take a blessing with them. It is an embodiment of true love.
We are beginning a new semester today (my final semester), and one thing that I hope to keep before me throughout this semester is to love others well, even in the busyness of life. With this in mind, we decided to seize our last "free" morning to open our home to some of our best friends for brunch, with the hope of loving them well. I hope that our friends enjoyed this delicious meal (including these wonderful scrambled eggs), but more importantly, I hope they left our house feeling blessed and loved.
Scrambled Eggs with Mushrooms and Truffle Oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
8 oz mushrooms (Cremini or a mix of wild mushrooms), chopped
2 green onions, sliced (divided)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon butter
8 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons half & half
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon truffle oil
Heat 1/2 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and 1 tablespoon sliced green onions for 5-10 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and most of the liquid evaporates, stirring often. Season the mushrooms with 1/4 teaspoon salt and transfer the mushrooms to a small bowl, set aside.
Stir together the eggs and half & half. In the same skillet in which you cooked the mushrooms, melt 1/2 tablespoon butter over low heat. Add the eggs to the skillet and cook, without stirring, for 1-2 minutes. Once the edges start to set, gently stir the eggs once every 30 seconds until the eggs are almost completely set; remove from heat. Season the eggs with salt and pepper. Pour the eggs onto a warmed serving platter and drizzle truffle oil over the eggs.
Return the mushrooms to the hot skillet and cook over medium heat until they are warm; pour over the scrambled eggs. Sprinkle the remaining green onions over the top.
(In case you're wondering, that not-so-lovely but oh-so-yummy treat in the background of these photos is praline bacon).