My mom gave me the best birthday present last year. She read through the wonderful book, Bread & Wine, and wrote notes all through out it on what she felt personally spoke into my life. This insight has given me a new picture of what community and the table is all about. The messages in this book by Shauna Niequist spoke so directly to my heart, and my mom’s underlining and scribbles made it all the more meaningful.
I was just looking over this book tonight as sometimes I revisit the chapters and the incredible recipes at the end of each chapter. I was just glimpsing over the appendix, and Shauna shares her best entertaining tips that truly help the idea of the table being the heart of the home. Not to mention, they really spoke to my OCD neat freak tendencies ha! I couldn’t help but share with you guys. See the point summaries below.
- Find a way to entertain that works best for you. Hospitality is about love, not about performance. Everyone should have a simpler meal and a happier host.
- When the doorbell rings, have yourself ready (aka hair dried and clothing on), music on, candles lit, something to eat, something to drink. It’s okay to have some food that’s not done, but you don’t want people to think that you are not ready for them.
- Be prepared and make a detailed plan. Time it out and create lists if needed so you don’t feel rushed and overwhelmed. Helpful note: allow yourself 30 minutes to putter around lighting candles, putting on music, putting on lipstick, having a glass of wine.
- Develop a repertoire and make only one last-minute dish per meal. Avoid trying new recipes for a dinner party. Stick to recipes you are really comfortable with. Tips: choose an appetizer that can be prepped early, an entree that can be in the oven when guests are arriving, easy salad and bread, and a dessert that’s already prepared.
- Accept help. Let people bring things, help you cook, clean up – again, it’s not a performance. People love to help. It makes them feel included and at home.
Gatherings around the table are not about what will look great on Pinterest or Instagram later. It’s about loving the people in your life by gathering them close into the private spaces of your home, about giving them soft places to land in hard seasons, about meeting their needs for food, for listening, for peace, for rest.
image via pinterest