Nov 24, 2013

Conversations Around the Table

A friend gave me a copy of Bread and Wine: Finding Community and Life Around the Table*.  I decided to use this book as a spring board to start a book club.

Seven ladies from my neighborhood met last night to share a meal from recipes in the book.  I hosted.  The evening didn't go exactly as I had planned.  

First bump in the road was my son's swim meet that went very late.  I found myself holding a heavy fussy baby while doing last minute preparations.  I felt rushed and scattered.

Thankfully a couple friends came early to set the table and various other tasks.

The main course was Steak au Poivre with Congac Pan Sauce.  And it was uh-may-zing.  Quite possibly the best thing I've ever put in my mouth.  Getting it to the table was, well, it took much longer than I planned. {Stress!}

Everyone chatted and enjoyed bacon wrapped dates (recipe also in book) while Tammy and I filled the house with smoke seared the steaks.

I felt crazy distracted wondering how my eldest was doing at the swim meet, greeting friends, making interpersonal connections for others, watching the steaks, filling glasses, and the bajillion other little tasks that are yours as hostess.  Did I mention the fussy baby?

Once sitting at the table though, my heart calmed and was flooded with gratitude.
Six friends surrounded me.  Though we don't know each other well, several had already begun sharing stories from their lives.  Some were very hard things.  We laughed.  We cried.  Burdens are easier to carry when shared with a friend. 

I'll be the first to say the food was very good.  The conversation was even better.  

Yes I felt scattered and didn't check off everything on my list before guests arrived.  You know what? Nobody cared that my bathroom didn't get cleaned.  Or that I didn't have time to vacuum.  Definitely no mentions of the cobwebs or the laundry waiting to be folded in the chair.  I bet no one even noticed that my baseboards need dusting too.  

All the comments on the evening were based on relationships.  My friends were grateful to have new friends.  We heard stories of persevering in the midst of trial. We laughed at the bone-headed and sweet things our children do and say.  Some received encouragement to stay the course.  

Later this week as we gather with family and friends for Thanksgiving, remember it is the people -not the food- that make this holiday great

Don't sweat the small stuff.

Focus on the people.

If you feel bad about having a dirty bathroom, drop by my house.  Mine will make you feel better. 

*The subtitle of the book is different on Amazon. CBD has a better price.  I recommend this book for starting a book club, there is a cooking club discussion guide in the back. 

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