Warm Connections {Day 12}: Gathering Around a Homemade Life

Molly Wizenberg was one of the first food bloggers I read back in 2006 when I started RE. Her blog, Orangette, in a way is iconic to me.

Molly said this best, in her book, A Homemade Life:

“When I walk into my kitchen today, I am not alone. Whether we know it or not, none of us is. We bring fathers and mothers and kitchen tables, and every meal we have ever eaten. Food is never just food. It’s also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been and who we want to be.”

I often bring my mother into my cooking. How could I not? She taught me so much of what I know today. When she passed away, another beautiful woman came into my life, my dad’s wife, Ginny. (Dad, Ginny, my sister and me.)

Ginny does homemade just as good as mom did.

She brings the family together, binds and joins us together with homemade goodness every time we’re in their home. (View of the Table Rocks from their front room, in the beautiful Rogue Valley.)

Serving a family-style meal just says comfort.

Comfort comes from being who we are.

Being who we are comes from feeling free with the people around us.

The people around us bring warm connections.

And warm connections bring more feelings of love.

Molly Wizenberg has it right: Food is never just food. It’s also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been and who we want to be.

When’s the last time you served a family-style meal around your table?

If you missed previous days to 31 Days of Warm Connections …
Day 1 (and 700 31 Day Bloggers): Secret Ingredient to Warmer Connections
Day 2: Bringing the Beauty of Autumn to Your Table
Day 3: Multi-Generational Pear Applesauce
Day 4: Canning Suncrest Peaches with a Friend
Day 5: How to Find Contentment
Day 6: Encouragement with Easy Pear Cobbler
Day 7: Bush’s Garbanzos, Chicken, and Quinoa Soup for a Sports Family
Day 8: More About Others
Day 9: Technology Versus People
Day 10: The Table Experience with Bush’s Beans
Day 11: Dreaming of Autumn Guests

   

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20 Responses to “Warm Connections {Day 12}: Gathering Around a Homemade Life”

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    Heather — October 12, 2011 @ 5:11 am

    When I read Molly’s book, I realized how much I had learned from my parents in the kitchen – my mother taught me that putting a meal on the table for 6 kids every night was not an overwhelming task, my father taught me to make the most out of what we had as he made his famous 3 layer jello desserts. As my entire family of grown kids and grandchildren gathered around a family breakfast this weekend, it was a warm connection of love mixed in with the blueberry pancakes and Canadian bacon that made it a special meal. Not the wild blueberries or the maple/mustard glaze on the bacon.

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    Mimi — October 12, 2011 @ 5:11 am

    loved this post. i agree 100%. I feel closest to my mom and grandma when I am in the kitchen. We moved to the opposite coast almost 10 years ago and I miss them everyday. Since we have left my grandmother has developed alzheimers and has digressed very quickly. Making something she taught me or reading a recipe that is written in her hand makes me feel like she is with me.

    I have a question. How do you start taking pictures of your guests at your dinner parties? I would love to document this time in our life but unsure of how to pull out the camera and start snapping =)

    • Beth C replied: — October 12th, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

      yes, tell me too =)

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    Grammy@gram-cracker.com — October 12, 2011 @ 5:33 am

    Ok, here’s what I love about this idea…1) I have recipes handed down for generations and it makes my heart smile every time my daughter calls me and requests a copy of one because she’s missing us…..2) Cooking a meal and then sitting around the table with family and friends is one of my favorite things in life. Case in point: I am making an old family recipe for Braised Pork Shoulder with Pepperoni Sauce and fresh fettucini for my daughters wedding rehearsal dinner nest week, its a small wedding and almost all of the guests are coming great distances to be here so I wanted to have a nice family style dinner for everyone (not just the wedding party) to give us all a chance to take a deep breath before the big day and just enjoy being together….

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    Mary — October 12, 2011 @ 6:42 am

    Oh Sandy! Another delightful post. I feel as you do…there are so many wonderful people with me in my kitchen. I remember my Italian grandmother making all sorts of things in her little kitchen as my cousin and I looked on in anticipation. For a treat she would give us thick slices of fresh baked bread laden with olive oil, oregano and salt. I can still taste it! Yum!!!

    My Mom was with me this past Sunday as we prepared a birhtday dinner for my husband. She’s 86 and still cooking…and a delight to have around. We all (my folks, my in-laws, our son and my husband and me) ate at my kitchen table which was so much fun. I usually always have my dinner parties in my kitchen rather than the more formal dinning room. I love the warm homey feeling the kitchen has (and you have taught me that things don’t need to be all fancy and perfect.). We even had a fire going in the kitchne fireplace because it was a cool, rainy day here in Texas. It was a lovely day with memories I will treasure.

    Family meals are so important to me. For years now I have made a point of having my husband, son, and me eat together at least one meal a day. Schedules may be hectic but I feel it’s so important for us to have a few moments to reconnect and share a meal together. I feel that this tradition has made our family very close and strengthened our bonds of love.

    Have a wonderful day! And thank you so much for these delightfully inspiring posts. I am thoroughly enjoying your 31 days!

    Love,

    Mary

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    lisa — October 12, 2011 @ 7:17 am

    Sandy, I love this. With almost grown children working and church responsibilities, dinner is no longer set on most nights…but it does happen. Last night we ate close to nine, but we were together…just like my momma used to do for us!

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    dayle — October 12, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

    I’ve been serving family-style meals around our table for 31 years. I don’t know any other way to do it, honestly. Even though it’s just the two of us now (me and The Man), I still serve meals around a table, family-style. I was blessed to be raised in a wonderful home where three meals a day were served up family-style, and my mom, now 79 years old, is still doing it to this day. I guess you could say my mama taught me well.

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    Richella at Imparting Grace — October 12, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

    I really, really like this post, Sandy. This whole Warm Connections theme is blessing my heart. And it’s making me glad that I have an 11 1/2 foot long kitchen table! :)

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    Beth C — October 12, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

    We love family style meals, we eat this way 6 nights a week. The last time we had “company” was 9 days ago when a longtime friend was in the area. My challenge with serving guests is how to balance excellent food with serving large quantities of people/getting a little fellowship in myself. However, sometimes the best conversations are in the kitchen after the meal when we are all cleaning up together. Having company truly is a blessing!

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    Judy@Savoring Today — October 13, 2011 @ 5:34 am

    From early in our marriage (which was 23 years ago), we decided dinner would be at the table, with everyone whenever possible. It is my favorite time of the day. Now, with only our youngest home at dinnertime, the three of us still remain around the table. Priceless.

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    Carol D — October 13, 2011 @ 10:22 am

    Love the stemware in your table picture. Do you know what they are and the source?

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    Athina — October 13, 2011 @ 10:31 am

    What a wonderful view from your father’s home… Dear ladies living in America, please notice and cherish the beautiful open spaces, mountains and lakes you have over there, us in European cities are jealous of those things ;))

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    Aggie — October 13, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

    If I’m not serving a meal family style I feel almost uncomfortable and just not right. That’s not saying that I serve family style meals every night. But w weird schedules lately I find myself eating something quick standing at the counter while my kids are eating their dinner. Not my ideal.

    My favorite meals are family style. It’s how I grew up at the table, and you are right, it’s comfort.

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    Ejdittman — October 16, 2011 @ 7:18 pm

    I’m greatful for my mom teaching me (often indirectly) the gift of hospitality. I had my husband’s family over for dinner tonight and neither sis-in-law either offered to help clean up or thanked us for hosting. While I wasn’t surprised about their lack of manners, I was surprised how little it bothered me. I didn’t have the dinner for me, I did it for my mother-in-law. She’s is always very grateful and happy when everyone gets together.

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