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

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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. Good gin and tonic water

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

      Ditto

    2. 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

                    It's a continuum.

                    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.

                    3. We know someone who likes those artificial creamers in her coffee. I used to keep a couple bottles (different flavours) in the fridge for her, and then I found a pack of "shelf stable" pods of the stuff. Now it doesn't take up precious shelf space in the fridge anymore! (I take half-and-half in my coffee and accept no substitute.)
                      When the in-laws visit, it's any number of things: jarred mayonnaise AND miracle whip, iceberg lettuce, processed lunch meats, orange juice, white bread, velveeta, etc.

                      1. I have a number of friends who enjoy diet colas so I keep some on hand. Same with the pink and blue packet sugar substitutes. I keep a few blends of tea that specific friends like. I prefer red wine but I keep a few varieties of white just in case.

                        For house guests I inquire about their preferences, especially breakfast and make sure there are plenty of choices to their taste. One house guest likes a yohgurt butter another likes Earth Balance which I keep in stock for visits.

                        1. Diet coke

                          1. Diet sodas-- no one in my household drinks diet. Otherwise, I just make sure we have an adequate supply of our normal stuff--bread, cereal, eggs, milk, fruit, veggies, meat and cheese, etc.

                            1. Splenda.

                              As red wine drinkers, I suppose we should keep white wine in stock...

                              1. Ketchup
                                Mustard
                                Mayo
                                Coffee Creamer
                                Decaf Coffee
                                Fresh Tomatos
                                Beer
                                White Wine

                                1. I wouldn't say I never consume these, but in general they are on hand for guests: diet soda (specifically diet colas or 'cola zero') and beer.

                                  1. Bottled mocha frappuccinos, Dr. Pepper, decaf coffee, moscato wine, gluten-free flour. All things I always have in the house, but none of them food/drink I'd buy otherwise.

                                    1. artifical sweetners
                                      alcohol
                                      if we know who is coming alllllways stock favourites
                                      and mom has taught me to do a basket on the guest bed of local made choclates magazines and products and vodka and wine

                                      1. I'm actually in the middle of prepping for a few guests in the coming weeks. My mom is coming and is trying to low carb it, so I bought extra eggs so she can use for her breakfasts, I don't eat eggs and only really use them for baking or when breading meats. Also, decaf coffee and tea.

                                        When SO's family comes I keep a lot of beer on hand. They like a lot of beer. We always have some here, but I need A LOT for them. I learned this last visit that SO's stepdad likes to have bread at every dinner meal, so from now on I'm going to always be sure to have rolls or french bread or something for him.

                                        Otherwise I just ask whoever is coming to visit what they like to drink and have for snacks and breakfast.

                                        1. Cheetos for our poker round, tho I hafta admit to indulge on those occasions myself.

                                          Tequila mostly for my keyboarder. Ginger beer and other non-alcoholic beverages for our 2 non-drinking friends. I find all of them too sweet. We pretty much drink only water or booze.

                                          We used to have PG tips on hand for a tea-drinking friend, but she doesn't visit anymore, so they're just sittin' around getting moldy.

                                          That's pretty much it.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: linguafood

                                            What are PG tips?

                                            1. re: meatn3

                                              http://www.pgtips.co.uk/

                                              1. re: Jay F

                                                PG tips make a house a home

                                                1. re: Kalivs

                                                  I guess that makes me a homeless person. I only drink tea when I'm sick or warming up for a gig.

                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                    Well I'm really screwed... I never drink tea.

                                          2. red wine. we are a white wine or vodka house.

                                            1. Tea bags and splenda are in the cupboard, just in case, though I rarely use either. I will buy regular sodas for guests who drink them since I only drink diet myself.

                                              1. soda
                                                hard liquor and mixers
                                                herbal tea

                                                1. Angulas, but delucacheesmonger may score them next month. Clever guy.

                                                  1. Spelt flour (best friend's wheat allergy).

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                      Is that spelt correctly?

                                                    2. Coffee, tea, and cereal.

                                                      1. Chips, vodka and regular soda. I have a few gluten free products and bottles of Beaujolais for guests with specific expectations.

                                                        1. When I buy an expensive, top shelf beer, I try to reserve a bottle out of the six pack for a future visit from a friend. That way if all I have in the 'fridge is a cheep beer for guzzling after mowing the lawn, I can offer an alternative.

                                                          This plan seldom really works, as is evident from my 'fridge, currently devoid of any beers at all.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                            Great idea! Gotta remember that! As my DH is a serious beer snob, I know they'll stay put as he won't touch them!

                                                          2. Ice. We never use it, and if it stays in the freezer for too long, between guests, it gets a funny flavor. Have to remind myself to turn on the icemaker when we're planning for guests.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: pine time

                                                              Ah, forgot about ice! I keep a small amount made for shocking blanched vegetables but I seldom use ice otherwise.

                                                              1. re: meatn3

                                                                Oh wow, ice that's a good one. We never use ice! When I blanch vegetables I just keep the cold water running and it has worked so far.

                                                            2. Mostly beverages here as well. For a couple of little ones we keep Hansen's Organic Junior Juice Water, and for a couple of big ones we keep rum. Also some decaf Constant Comment tea for the tea drinkers who want decaf but not herbal.

                                                              1. coffee mate. (blech)

                                                                1. Soda. We won't touch the stuff, but the devoutly Muslim members of our family like it. I guess if you can't put one toxin in your system, gotta find another :)

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: tandooritaco

                                                                    Who wants to consume a toxin that doesn't get you just a little bit happy?;)

                                                                  2. Yellow mustard. I hate the stuff, but if you like to entertain with a bbq, you need to have it.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: alliegator

                                                                      I buy the 365 brand of organic mustard at Whole Foods. It's still crappy yellow mustard, but it's *organic* crappy yellow mustard, so we can all be proud serving it to our bbq guests.

                                                                    2. Beer. I might have 3 beers a year usually at some sort of sporting event, or BBQ.

                                                                      1. Wine - my system can't really handle wine, but my friends would drink it off a sore foot.

                                                                        Also crackers: I rarely have an occasion to eat crackers, but if company comes by I can whip up some pimiento cheese in no time flat.

                                                                        Also like pine time, I have to say ice - never touch the stuff.

                                                                        1. Dessert - ice cream, cookies, etc. We never have dessert in our house, only at holidays so load up for guests.

                                                                          Bread, bagels, muffins - We are a low carb house so have none of this around other than what's stashed in the freezer from past guests so I ask them what they want and make sure to stock up

                                                                          Juice and any other drink except diet Coke and water - SO and I only drink the latter and so if anyone needs or wants anything else I have to go out for it

                                                                          Milk - I've never had a glass of milk in my several decades of life so far and have been quite embarrassed by guests who arrive and I have no milk

                                                                          1. diet soda, or for that matter any soda. They only time We drink the stuff is the occasional Schweppes ginger ale if we get sick.

                                                                            1. Alcohol.

                                                                              Although my partner does drink some of it.

                                                                              1. Regular Coke and 7-Up. I really don't like full sugar sodas, I actually prefer the taste and viscosity of diet soda, even though they are bad for you too.

                                                                                1. Tonic water and vodka for my sister, rum for my boyfriend and carb-laden bread products

                                                                                  1. diet coke

                                                                                    1. Sugar. I keep a small quantity up on the top shelf with obscure spices, and to actually occasionally use a very small amount to kickstart yeast for some (savoury!) baking.

                                                                                      Cow's milk, for people who take it in coffee or tea.

                                                                                      Any sweet soft drink, diet or sugary.

                                                                                      1. Bottlled water,Vodka, Tortilla chips,Ice Cream Other than that, they eat what I eat.

                                                                                        1. Hard liquor. Stevia and other low calorie sweeteners. Decaf tea and herbal tea (although my daughter drinks these.) When my mom is visiting, iceberg lettuce.