Around the Table

November 17

 

In each of the last two cities we’ve lived, I have been part
of a group that regularly met to share a meal. 

In San Antonio, we joined with three other couples from our
church for a monthly “Supper Club.”  We
took turns hosting the meal with the host setting the theme and cooking the
main course while the others contributed sides and desserts.  It started a bit of a whim as some of us
shared our love for cooking and wanting to get together more often.  When we first started in 2004, there were two
children. In 2008, when we moved, we were up to nine children and one on the
way.  In the end, we met a bit less frequently
and our dinners were definitely busier as our kids were with us but we stuck
with it.

Fort Collins brought several groups over the years.  The meal exchange ladies typically
shared snacks and drinks as did the book club I went to for a while.  But it was with my sweet friends Alice and
Mindy that I spent the most time around the table with.  We also met at church and started a bible
study one summer.  This particular study
included recipes and simple menu suggestions along with the encouragement to add
some extra time to gather together and share a meal.

That’s exactly what we
did.  What happened during those summer evenings is that we connected in a way that went beyond sharing food or answering Bible study questions.  

Raspberry Ricotta Scones

A few weeks ago, I got an email from a friend inviting us to
the 1st “Foodie Club” meeting. 
Always creative, she chose “Sunday Brunch” as the theme for our Friday
night dinner.  Such fun. 

As I was preparing my contribution of raspberry ricotta scones and
quiche, it struck me that gathering around the table is such a great way to
build relationship.  In both San Antonio
and Fort Collins, the people we met with regularly were a part of our lives in
other ways yet it was those hours we spent sharing a meal, lingering with wine
or dessert and coffee that we really connected. 
Those are the moments when conversations wander to areas that don’t come
up in other settings or where debates are held thanks to the encouragement of full
bellies, candlelit rooms and that last glass of wine.  Eventually, if you meet often and regularly
enough, you realize that you are sharing more than a meal with each other.  

You are sharing your life. 

Food plays such an amazing role in relationships.  Preparing a meal is giving a bit of yourself
to those you are feeding.  Yes, you give
your time and skills but through those efforts you give the people you are
feeding the more important gift of nourishment for both body and soul.  When you think of it that way, the role
sharing a meal plays in all aspects of our lives. 

Celebration. 

Grief. 

Just getting through the day.

Regardless of the reason for gathering, a connection is made and if you do it
often and long enough, you will build a community. 

And that is something that makes life so very rich. 

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