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What do you keep in stock for guests, that you never consume?

For me, it's bevs: Coffee, tea, booze. Including my Dad's favorite Scotch. When Mom is coming, I bring in Thomas's English Muffins for her breakfast, but I don't otherwise keep them in stock. Really, nothing else. How about you?

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    1. Liquor and mixers (I drink plenty of wine but no hard alcohol); coffee (gave it up 15 years ago); assorted chips, pretzels, etc.

      1. We make sure to have soda/ iced tea and bacon/sausage for when we have guests. We limit our guests to 3 nights, so we don't need to purchase a large quantity. We do consumer bacon and sausage, but we prefer to not keep it in the house.

        1. Cold box cereal (I only enjoy hot cereal)
          Whole milk (I prefer 1%)
          French's mustard (not a fan but I keep it for bbq parties)

          1. Nothing.

            My guests eat what I eat.

            If it's good enough for me, it's good enough for them, especially when they're eating it in *my* house.

            9 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              Great answer! I was wondering how many would say this. I don't quite have the nerve not to offer coffee.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                I wholeheartedly disagree. Part of being a good host is catering to the preferences of your guests.

                1. re: redips

                  Part of being a good guest is not to be demanding.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      I"m not high maintenance at all but I've always been touched when someone has observed and then anticipated my preferences in food or drink. So I like to return the favor to my guests.

                      Part of how I show affection is through food and providing comfort. Along the same line, I don't have kids but I keep some sippy cups and toddler sized implements around for little visitors. Their parents might not think to bring a cup and this lets the child drink happily and allows their parent to not worry about breakage.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Having preferences is not the same as being demanding.

                        My mother has never requested that I have sleepy time tea, cinnamon raisin English muffins, and honey walnut cream cheese on hand when she visits, let alone demanded them. But I know she loves them and has them almost daily, so I have them on hand for her.

                        1. re: debbiel

                          And hopefully you know you're guest(s) well enough to know the difference btwn house guest accommodation and demanding company.

                          This time of year, we welcome a good deal of overnighters; family and out of town friends. If for any reason I don't think I can accommodate them or that they wouldn't be comfortable staying 24/7 in the rhythm of my home I do what I also do best-find them appropriate hotel accommodations in order to provide the flexibility of choice. Because it's been my experience that guest-stocking is more than a matter of food preference.

                    2. re: ipsedixit

                      Okay, when it comes to food, I get this, but what about condiments, sweeteners, and drinks? I've had guests who love my coffee, but they want it with stevia instead of real sugar, so I keep the stevia around (and hope it doesn't rot or decay or whatever those non-nutritive sweeteners do when they die.)

                      And we keep hard liquor for older guests who grew up drinking that instead of wine. This seems reasonable to me, and not wasteful, since these things don't really go bad as quickly as food.

                      1. re: Isolda

                        If they're staying overnight, or a couple of days, sure I make accommodations for their preferences.

                        But a quick visit, or even a dinner? Nope.

                        You prefer Stevia and all I've got is sugar? Take it black, or don't take any coffee.

                        You want Wild Turkey and all I've got is some good Talisker 15? Broaden your horizons and see what single malts are all about, or relive Prohibition.