At The Table

56 posts
Do You Hear What I Hear?

Do you hear what I hear? All the sounds of Christmas are in full swing here: songs that bring nostalgia, the raucous laughter of cousins and aunts and uncles crammed around the table, those golden few minutes of silence when the door slams closed, after the kids have found that missing glove or hat and boots and finally made it out the door to sled down the big hill. Do...

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When Not Hosting Is the Most Generous Thing

My husband is a master in the kitchen. He loves the organized chaos that comes with timing dishes just right and swirling up a delicious feast by sheer determination to make the clock and the ingredients and the appliances work together. He likes the thrill of it, to be sure, but he also enjoys serving others. He has this natural ability to whip up a delicious meal and serve all...

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We are Kept in a Common Place

We sometimes forget that Jesus was born in a barn, not a church, and that the God of the Incarnation is as much about kitchen tables as ecclesial altars. God is as much domestic as monastic. This is important to keep in mind as we try to understand the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the body of Christ, a continuation of the Incarnation, and, like Jesus’ birth, is meant to bring...

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The Generous Table with a Southern Staple

The frozen bananas on a stick were the straw that broke my pre-pubescent back. After sharing several Thanksgiving meals over the years with family friends, I’d resigned myself to celebrating with dehydrated potatoes whipped up from a box and various side dishes poured from a can. But fruit masquerading as a dessert? This was too far for a kid whose mom made every dessert, right down to the piecrust, from...

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A Feast For All Saints

A couple of weeks ago I took the kids to our favorite garden for fall photos. I've been doing this since they could walk. We have a history of images all taken in this familiar setting, chronologically recording their monumental growth. But it's not just any garden. It's a quiet garden, a memorial garden. A place where people can come to remember the saints who have died. We wander the...

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Dinnertime Discussions at Our Lifegiving Table

“Here’s what I think . . .”
It was a night just like any other, which is to say it was another evening of rousing discussion. Soup spoons suspended in midair, quizzical brows, the thumping of a printed-out article on the table. The article in question had been the source of that evening’s discussion. I can’t recall the exact topic of debate, but it likely had something to do with a...

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Finding Your Welcome Again And How Tomato Soup Can Heal

We spent the summer mostly by the pool. Those plastic loungers acted as a cradle of respite for me, a safe, uninterruptible space for me to wrestle with my angst related to community and a wound that oozed far longer than seemed reasonable. I was near militant about our pool going. Mostly, the kids were on board, but even on days when they turned their toes in and sighed, again?!...

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Finding Our Place

It was just a few weeks before Thanksgiving and we didn’t have a table. Well, technically we did have table. An old one we had bought through Craig’s List that fit the small space in our old house perfectly. It was distressed cream and snuggly seated six. But we’d moved into a blessing: a spacious house that boasted a huge dining room. We were hosting our first Thanksgiving and were...

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When a Meal Is a Masterpiece

This year, I gave my husband the gift of an Italian cuisine cooking class at a local cooking school for his birthday. We spent the evening creating a meal of white bean tapenade smeared on crostini, porcini roasted beef, and bianco risotto cooked in saffron and vermouth. Together we sliced and diced vegetables for the radicchio fritelle, and quartered strawberries for the crowning glory of the meal, a mascarpone torte...

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The Art We Make at the Table

This is a story of two tables. The first is round. The wood is dark, and the square pedestal is cracked. We bought the table as newlyweds. We spent weeks hunting for chairs to match. The six chairs we found were always a little wobbly, but the warm, wood color was just right. It needed sixteen years, but we did, eventually, grow to fill those chairs. Jonathan and myself. Two...

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