Our Table

With a whole other blog dedicated to food and cooking, it’s a no-brainer that I love to cook. But even more than that, what I really love is to feed people. Taking note of the calender and seeing that the 25th of December isn’t too far off, my mind has already turned to puddings, tarts, and, well, food. Not presents, trees, or Santa. Before I even know who will be at my table I am already planning what I will be serving them.

Ever since I first learned to cook I have enjoyed entertaining. And while I love to have music playing and good company assembled, for me it’s just as much about the food. Looking at it a little deeper, I wonder where it comes from. The desire to feed and with it, nurture. And to be quite frank, I think it’s my way of saying “I love you and am grateful to have you in my life, and this is my way of showing that”. Because apart from my Husband and children, I am not all that demonstrative. I am still taken aback at a kiss on the head from a close friend or a spontaneous hug out of the blue. An unexpected “I love you” always touches my heart. I often wish I showed more affection, but I can guarantee that if you are welcome in my home and at my table, then I think you’re pretty cool.

Because that’s the other thing. After our younger years when the number of friends seemed to reflect quantity rather than quality and every Tom, Dick, and Harry traipsed through our door, we’ve learned that home is sacred. Our home is our most intimate space, and it is only fitting that the people we should want in our home be special to us. And by the same token, the family table is also a special space.

I love the preparation that goes into a large gathering. I love poring over cookbooks, recipes, and menus. I take notes, try to have a theme common to all the food, and prepare mammoth shopping lists. {Yes, I realise I sound insane}. I love having a whole day to prepare, pop on one of my aprons {the Maggie Beer for serious cooking, the frilly one for a fun bash}, and by the time guests are set to arrive I have everything under control and a drink in hand. {And seriously, where would a gathering be without the drinks? 😉 }.

I love plating everything up and therefore have more plates, platters, bowls and serving ware than is sane. I reject all offers of help not because it wouldn’t come in handy but because, honestly, I am having a ball. And finally, when everything is on the table and we have all come together, my job is done. I don’t enjoy the eating anywhere as near as much as I enjoyed the cooking and planning. At the last large gathering we had recently, the tables were groaning under the weight of all the BBQ, salads, and side dishes. And all I {quite happily} managed to scoff down was one skinny sausage in a bread roll. {Of course this also goes a long way to explaining exactly why all that champagne went straight to my head. But I digress}.

I totally understand that cooking and entertaining is not everyone’s thing, and that’s fine with me. I’m not blowing my own horn about what a fantastic cook I am. {That’s what the other blog is for. Just joking}. I loved feeding family and friends back when the best I could manage was the simplest lasagne and an overcooked chicken. It’s about gathering, sharing, smiling, and bonding. It’s about the stories we tell when we’re together, when we share laughter and sometimes tears. The moments we remember this, that, and the other. Our children impersonating their grandparents. The cheers where we all tap glasses and make crazy-eyes at each other. When we laugh at the story of a saleslady telling one of our kids to wash their ripped jeans in the freezer. {What an idiot I was actually putting them in the washing machine all these years 😉 }.

At this stage in my life I’m proud of the fact that the people we welcome to our home and table are the people we really want there. No-one is there because they should be, or because of any duty or expectations. All are there because we love and value them. And our heavily laden table is my own way of telling them how much they all mean to me.

So this Christmas, before I even start on my pudding or the menu, I want to send hugs and kisses to all the people we have had in our home, especially this last month. You have all given me so much joy and love. So much side-splitting-almost-peed-my-pants laughter. There’s been food, food, and more food. There’s been far too much champers and one mother of a hangover. There’s also been some killer music and even some dancing.

{Btw, there are also some photos that will never be made public. Anyone interested can email me for further details. Why does someone always have to get the camera out?}.

So bring on the silly season, I say. I’ll put out the welcome mat.

 

Til next time,

Ana.

  1. Great post! I enjoy the prep work of a special meal, and entertaining as well, but over the years I have learned that an intimate setting is far better (to me) than a large gathering.

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    1. So true. And a bit easier too. Thanks Valerie.

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  2. This was so cute! I can also relate,but I don’t think I’m as good at it as you are . In any case, your blog is wonderful! I just discovered it and I’ve already gone through a great number of posts here.

    Take care !
    Hana

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    1. Thanks so much Hana, and welcome! I stumbled upon your blog and have been enjoying it too.

      Btw if your interested I have a page of Dalmatian recipes on my cooking blog, the link is on my about page.

      See you around, Ana.

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      1. Aawww Thank you 🙂

        I am most definitely interested and will be drooling over the recipes as of now. Will let you know if I make something from the list (and if it’s a success or utter failure ha-ha-ha)

        Toodles!
        Hana

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  3. Gorgeous! Love it!!!

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