A Good Home, Canadian life, Cooking, Floral Arrangement, Hospitality, Humour

Hospitality Advice From the Undomestic Diva

My best advice for Staying Alive if you’re Undomestic:

Marry a man or woman who can cook.

Not that you have to marry him/her. Just beg the person to live with you – especially at mealtime and most especially when guests come to visit.

If you’re resolutely single, make sure that all your close friends are chefs living nearby.


Advice on Arranging Flowers:

Grow hostas. Not for the flowers, but the leaves. Grow hostas in pots or in a garden bed, but do grow them.

Their large green leaves make an easy centrepiece on your dinner or lunch table.

Should you feel aspirational, you may want to arrange them: place flowers in the centre of the vase. 

Advice on Inviting Guests to your Home:

Never invite tall people to your house. They are bound to see the dust of ages in spaces where you can’t reach/have never thought of cleaning. If you’re tall, then the same advice goes for very short guests. They’ll see the dust-balls in the corners of every room.

Advice for Guests:

Ask questions. If an Undomestic Diva invites you to dinner or lunch, there’s only one question that needs to be asked: “Who’s cooking?”

If, for example, I tell you I’m doing the cooking, you must instantly remember a previous and very urgent commitment for that date. If, however, I indicate that my husband is doing the cooking, you’re safe. Just show up on time, with a bottle of wine.

Blog Photo - Dinner on Plate

If, per chance, you are determined to visit me, then do what my close friends and relatives have done over the years: phone back and say, “We know how busy you can get, so we’re going to bring part of the meal.” That way, you’re guaranteed to have something edible or at the least, unburned.

Listen, friends — it’s not that I can’t cook at all. It’s that everything I’ve ever cooked for guests turns out badly. As for flower arrangements: the photo above was my best ever. I decided to quit while I was ahead!



53 thoughts on “Hospitality Advice From the Undomestic Diva”

  1. Oh, Cynthia, you gave me a good couple laughs here. Especially the question, “Who’s cooking?” as I have asked that myself and rather than turn down the engagement, have eaten beforehand… And of course, I’ve taken food in self-defense as well!

  2. We all have our talents:). I’m a pretty darn good cook now but I have a checkered past. Something about raw spaghetti meat being dumped into sauce to cook . .. .

  3. That center piece is beautiful, Cynthia. I never would have thought of using hosta leaves for that purpose, and the color combination with the clematis is striking. Thank you for sharing that idea!

      1. All is good here. We are riding out a heat wave right now, with 107 degrees in the forecast for tomorrow. Spot watering in the garden takes up a lot of time these days. On the plus side, the wild blackberries are ripening faster in this heat, and we had some for dessert at lunch.

  4. Great tips! I am reading “My Own Words” by Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Supreme Court Justice. Her husband, Martin, always cooked. You and Ginsberg have other talents! You have a sense of humor too. A bottle of wine always helps any meal. Hope you are continuing to heal.

  5. I like the centerpiece with the hosta leaves–clever and very effective. I’m with you in terms of marrying a man who can cook. I did, and I thank my stars every day!

  6. Ha Ha Ha…..that gave me a good morning laugh. I especially like the part about offering to bring something. I’ve used that line before on a few friends just to be assured we’d have something to eat.

  7. Excellent advice! Loved the one about dusting and tall people – being only 5’1″, there can easily be places that elude me/I never even see. Important to not cultivate tall friends. 🙂

  8. This really made me laugh, Cynthia! I panic dreadfully when I have guests and usually manage to make a mess of some kind! What good and sensible advice you have given xx At Christmas I managed to trip up while carrying a dish of mashed swede and threw the lot at the dining table. Fortunately, the dish landed on the floor right side up but not before depositing large amounts all over the carpet and on everyone’s shoes!

  9. Cynthia, I hope you’re healing up quickly now. Thank you for this post – all such good reminders for when we aren’t sure what to say or do. Take care – glad you’re back to blogging again! 🌸

  10. Cynthia, I wouldn’t mind if you greeted me with a loaf of bread and a lump of cheese, and said come on in and make your own sandwich. I would be blessed just to be in your home. 🙂

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