One: prepare in advance. Make some of the food before anyone turns up. Some good suggestions are ratatouille which can be served cold (made with chopped egg plant, onion, peppers and plum tomatoes simmered all day) or even roasted chickens. Buy lots of summer fruit and cheese and bottled water in advance.
Two: don’t ruin yourself as you will begrudge it. Buy vegetables in season ( corn and potatoes, asparagus) and make lots of salads with feta cheese , onions, olives, and plum tomatoes ( Greek ) or with tuna (Nicoise. ) Even guacamole can be made if you can find the ripe avocados without spending too much money.
Three: let your guests help. When someone says,”May I help?” say “Yes.” Give them precise tasks like setting the table, peeling potatoes, chopping up onion. Don’t be too fussy about whether they put the cups back in the right shelf or if they empty the dishwasher. Don’t worry if things are not done exactly the way you would do them. In other words don’t be too controlling. Sit around a table outside and do chores together. Turn work into a moment to talk: shucking corn, peeling beans etc.
Four: if the guests are staying for a while make sure you disappear regularly. Take some time off to yourself. Close the door and pull down the shades and read or write or just close your eyes on the noise.