“It’s about what happens when we come together, slow down, open our homes, look into one another’s faces, listen to one another’s faces, listen to one another’s stories. It happens when we leave the office and get a sitter and skip our workouts every so often to celebrate a birthday or an accomplishment or a wedding or a birth, when we break out of the normal clockwork of daily life and pop the champagne on a cold, gray Wednesday for no other reason than the fact that the faces we love are gathered around our table. It happens when we enter the joy and the sorrow of the people we love, and we join together at the table to feed one another and be fed, and while it’s not strictly about food, it doesn’t happen without it. Food is the starting point, the common ground, the thing to hold and handle, the currency we offer to one another.” ~ Bread & Wine, by Shauna Niequist
Aaron and I love having people in our home. We love lots of laughter, loud voices, and numerous stories being told at once. We have a small home with rarely enough room to entertain our many times large groups of people, and yet we do it anyway. We gather together to laugh, celebrate, pass time, reminisce, make new memories, sometimes cry, and always eat. Sometimes it’s dinner, and sometimes it’s dessert. Sometimes it’s hot coffee with slightly sweet, freshly whipped cream. Sometimes it’s right out of the oven chocolate chip cookies. During Christmas it’s plain sugar cookies that everyone decorates themselves. In the summer it’s a tropical mixed drink and Mekenzie’s delicious guacamole with Juanita’s tortilla chips. No matter the time of year, or time of day, we love to open our home to those we love!
I have been a huge fan of Shauna Niequist for the past couple of years, and her newest book, Bread & Wine, does not disappoint. It is exactly what the title states: “a love letter to life around the table.” It brings simplicity to an act that has become obsolete in our society today. Inviting people into our homes carries with it a vulnerability that can be difficult to overcome. Fear of what others may think of our messy home, or our lack of skill in the kitchen keeps us from experiencing deep relationship with one another. The kind that happens when we pause for the day, look at each other around the table, share about the good and the bad, and nourish ourselves with food.
Throughout this gem of a book Shauna shares her own experiences, giving us hope to share life with others around our own tables. Her stories touch the heart and have you feeling like you are sitting across from her dipping a crusty piece of bread in oil and vinegar, while sipping on a glass of red wine. It’s delightful, full of soul, and filled with recipes that will make your mouth water!
For my very own “Bread & Wine” experiment I invited our dear friends Corey & Whitney and their sweet as pie little boy, Greyson, to be our guinea pigs for a full meal of new recipes from the book. We dined on a pan of Annette’s Enchiladas, Esquites, black beans warmed with a couple of tablespoons of barbecue sauce and finished the evening with Dark Chocolate Sea Salted Toffee with vanilla ice cream. And as we dined we shared about our day, smiled over our sweet little ones as they munched on crackers together, and laughed our way through stories told. The food was easy to make and delicious!
This book is worth purchasing and reading cover to cover as soon as you can get your hands on it. 🙂 Curl up with it, get lost in the stories, and then invite those that you love to sit around your own table and share life. You won’t regret it!