We have a certain way of doing things down here—sometimes sensible, sometimes traditional, and sometimes, just quirky.

There’s a reason “Southern Hospitality” is a phrase known across the country. Hosts and hostesses down here just have a natural knack for making others feel welcome, whether at a blow-out holiday bash or a humble, spur-of-the-moment porch party. We like to think we know a thing or two about the art of hospitality, which is really just the art of keeping guests full and comfortable, with a drink in their hand, be it sweet tea or something harder.  But there’s no denying with such well-known hospitality comes a few quirks. Here, some moves straight out of a Southern hostess’s playbook:

Keep Mama’s cornbread recipe under lock and key.

We know being asked for a recipe is the best compliment you can receive. But how will you be remembered for your irresistible caramel cake if half the church is making it?

Break out the silver…for cheese and crackers.

There’s nothing wrong with breaking out the good stuff for everyday occasions.

Keep a tin of cheese straws in the pantry…

and a tub of (homemade!) pimiento cheese in the fridge. You just never know when someone may stop by, needing a particularly Southern snack.

Have an extra casserole in the freezer.

For surprise visitors, new neighbors, and maybe even her own funeral.

Offer coffee or cocktail…at any hour of the day.

Not here to judge, simply to accommodate.

Swear up and down that guests are more than welcome to stay one more day…

While subtly shepherding their luggage out the door

Offer “Crystal, Tabasco, Texas Pete, or Louisiana?” whenever someone asks for hot sauce.

Don’t want to start a war now. Everybody gets what they think is best.

Throw a party…for any and every occasion.

A baptism, an SEC win, an engagement, a change in seasons…you name it.

Keep a gracious smile on her face...

Even if, as Southern Living editor Valerie Luesse says, there’s “murder in her heart.”