Generally it’s a place we put mail, old magazines and jackets that come off our backs sooner and sooner these days.
Right now, there’s a sewing machine, some pretty out-of-season flowers and a wine glass with a few sips left from last night.
I’m talking about that holy surface — where all things are laid out — where food enters our bodies and where we sit too long some times, debating, laughing, sorting through life’s crap and usually, enjoying food of some sort.
Our table is intimate.
I’d say most tables are.
Where food is raised right above the belly and where it ends up on the other side; give or take a few minutes or a few hours. But we’ve all been there. Those dinners that last two or three hours. Some of the best times ever. Too much wine — or when the conversation is as sweet as the bites. Getting up is sometimes saying, “Well, it’s time to move on.” Sometimes, you don’t want it to.
All is equal on that table.
I can’t say that we always eat there. Usually we catch up on TV shows or watch a movie. Sometimes it’s fun to zone out.
I am learning though, the intimacy that takes place when everything is off and you’re concentrating on others and how they feel about the food you’ve cooked. It’s a bit more honest.
I think if cooks (hosts, restaurants) do their jobs right, they help to create these moments. When a need is fulfilled, when glasses are full, when palettes are blissed out. God, I do love that.
I’d like to be in the business of facilitating memory. That rich stuff that doesn’t leave our brains. When I look back at some of the best meals I have, I see a table. Covered in plates and empty glasses and that one dish that’s leftover everyone keeps nibbling at.
Granted, in the restaurant world, you want to turn tables as much as possible, but at home, you can stay as long as you want.
Sometimes, that’s all I really want. To sit at my table and stay for a while.