my table. (and what I love about food.)

I want to say something about food.

Well, I want to say a lot of things.

And as always, I want to speak out of a place that recognizes my privilege. For one, to be able to sit in a comfy brown chair and write about it, and also, that I have the means to buy good ingredients, cook them, and feed myself and at times, others.

There is something to be said about sitting down at a table with plates with forks and maybe a few nice glasses. Maybe a cute napkin or some candles. Very similar to the picture at the top of this blog. It is a simple joy, that I can reproduce this from time to time. And really, it doesn’t take much.

But there’s something inside of me that gets excited when I know I am to be cooking for people I love and for friends I’ve yet to meet.

There is something strong, strong, strong in that.


For me, especially. It is the way I reach out to people. I pull them in to my story, a bit. Sometimes alcohol helps, but of course, it isn’t necessary.

Though I think there is a valid place for wine at my table. It softens the edges. Helps conversation flow more freely. Its smell reminds me of being rich. Though I am far from it. Well, in the ways some of us want to be rich.

Making the switch into “professional” cooking, though I am not really a professional, there are a few things that shift. For one, when you cook all the time, you don’t feel like doing it as much when you’re home. And when someone cooks for you, there is no greater feeling in the world. And if it tastes good, that’s a bonus.

My table is full of souls who need warm things in their bellies.

We realize, when we share food together, that we are all more alike than we are different. That fried fish is always good and that eating things with your hands makes food taste better at times.

At the heart of what I do, and why I love doing it, is this simple feeling of contentment. The smile on one’s face after they take a bite, and let it sit. The sauce that is wiped up with a piece of crusty bread.

A top off of wine to end the meal, though you have a slight buzz and a warm face.

The expectation of a little something sweet.

Maybe a cup of hot tea, or strong coffee.

And even more importantly, the dear souls who do the dishes, and are grateful for the exchange.

My table is full of belly laughs and deep searching.

For God knows what, mostly just chit chat and a few childhood stories.

My table has made me strong.
Because it is there I get to show people who I am without needing anything in return.
I’ll even wash your dishes, because when the world is closing in on you, you don’t need anything else to do.

But to just sit and enjoy something good and simple.

That’s what I love.

And that’s what I love about food.

96 responses to “my table. (and what I love about food.)”

  1. My son is studying to become a chef, and I can see the beginnings of what you’re talking about starting to develop in him….and I’m so happy about that!

  2. I remember sitting round a pine table in the kitchen at my grand parents house – it was oval so that my granny who was losing her sight would not walk into the corners of the old table – she used to glide past it using its location as a navigation aid.

    I was low down the family pecking order when the house was sold so the good stuff was swooped on by uncles and aunts but I still sit at the same table today. Once in a while I think of its history and the fond memories!

  3. So happy you’ve been FP’d, otherwise I may not have come across your blog. And I’m so very glad I did. I also work in a professional kitchen, and happen to be on my way there now. The perfect read to start my day with right vibe. Excellent read.

  4. I really enjoyed reading this post about the table and food. Sharing meals with friends (or even strangers who don’t remain that way long). I grew up in the South, and the kitchen table wasn’t just for eating. It always seemed to have food on it don’t get me wrong, but it was the place everyone gathered. For family discussions, homework, parties, funerals, you name it…that’s where I grew up, in the kitchen and at the table.

    “At the heart of what I do, and why I love doing it, is this simple feeling of contentment. The smile on one’s face after they take a bite, and let it sit. The sauce that is wiped up with a piece of crusty bread.” — I love this statement. I can relate, though I’m far from a professional. But it does come down to this seemingly simple thought…that one smile or last swipe of the few drops of sauce left on the plate.

    Thank you again for this food for thought.

  5. What a great introduction.
    There really is nothing quite like knowing others are enjoying the foods and company you do. I love cooking and feeding. My two great passions.

  6. You’re a man after my own heart. I grew up in a home that always had great food (my parents are fantastic cooks) and lots of company. I carried on the tradition in my own home. There’s nothing like ‘breaking bread’ together.

  7. Yes! This: “But there’s something inside of me that gets excited when I know I am to be cooking for people I love and for friends I’ve yet to meet.”

    There is nothing like cooking for people I care about. It’s entirely different from my work in the restaurant business (front of the house), because it’s not just serving them, it’s enjoying life WITH them, and making their day, their evening a little better while I enjoy a glass of wine and the sauce and crusty bread with them. A combination of taking care of someone, and getting to know them, really enjoy them in an intimate way at a table. It’s hard to not be at peace with people whom you feed and share a bottle of wine with. 🙂 This was a beautiful and relatable read tonight. Thank you!

  8. This is such a lovely post. I can relate to that feeling. I usually cook for my fiancée and she is so grateful. If she enjoy the meals I cook (which thankfully is mostly the case) it makes me very happy inside. There’s simply something very loving and caring in cooking and food in general.

  9. and I love your post! 🙂 you described in such a simple way all the joys of cooking, and the most important thing about it – gathering people and enjoying the stories! 🙂

  10. The breads in that picture look awesome. I want to read some more blogs about food, especially healthy food.

    Year’s ago I knew this lady named Jenny, and whenever I would pass by and ask what she wanted from the store, she would tell me, “Yes, can you buy a loaf of bread for me”? Every time, the list consisted only of a loaf of bread.

    Your picture there in the entry reminds of a good old friend named Jenny. Thanks for that.

  11. And now, on a health note, my latest kick is looking for ingredients. If a product has something listed called , “emulsifier”, that is one product that I have no business even trying. Has anyone really looked up or asked exactly what is in the emulsifier that they can not put the name of it on the label?

  12. I have only just started exploring the blogs of other people and what a lovely post to come across. I currently live in Singapore and this made me think of long, lazy home cooked lunches with old friends. It makes me look forward to having those times again.

  13. Breaking bread with people, for me, always symbolizes something deeper than just eating..Back home in New Orleans much of our gatherings are centered around food…Delicious several course meals cooked with love & usually with alot of us in the kitchen! Chatting, kids running to & fro, music playing in the distance..Just good times all around..I’ve found its the same in many cultures…Good meals just makes everything better..My ex sis-in-law(and lifetime sista) once said..@ I might not be rich; but one thing I’m always going to do is eat WELL..And that about sums it UP doesn’t it? Thanks for sharing the sentiment so many of us feel..Well done! 2 thumbs UP

  14. I love this post. The lines that especially got me: “Because it is there I get to show people who I am without needing anything in return.
    I’ll even wash your dishes, because when the world is closing in on you, you don’t need anything else to do.”

    But as I think about that, it strikes me that you have been going through some difficult times of late. I hope there’s someone else around who will occasionally wash your dishes – for the times when the world is closing in on YOU. That’s something I could use right about now myself. 🙂

  15. Exploring new tastes and flavor combinations with friends is just as much a journey of adventure as trekking to a high mountain peak or kayaking the white rapids. Nice post. I couldn’t agree more.

  16. […] This blog post reminds us of what food should mean. What it meant to generations before us. My great grandparents, only two generations before me, had to grow their own. They had to work ten times harder than most of us do today just to prepare themselves for the onset of winter. How do you feed more than 10 kids off your own land and that of your close neighbours? You’re hardworking, resourceful, and practical. What does food mean to you at this point? Everything. Your entire year is spent working in order to sustain yourself and your family through to the next crop season. Having your hands (or plough) in the dirt wasn’t ‘going to work’, it was survival. […]

  17. This was pretty insightful for me– as a person who is usually on the receiving end of served food, it was nice to see the perspective of a person with an opinion I haven’t seen to date.

  18. ah the passion that you showcase in your words for food left me hungry yet satiated – that’s what good food is about. heartfelt and warm – congratulations and thanks.

  19. This is why I like to say, “Food is for fellowship!” 😀 I *LOVE* cooking for my friends, gathering around a nice meal, and talking the afternoon / evening away. The last time I did, my wife and I had 13 people over at the same time, which was a bit much for our small apartment, but it was all the more fun! Happy cooking!

  20. I love this! … and I love reading about your sentiments about the people you cook for, about your love for food itself, and about how happy it makes you!

  21. I loved this post. It made me smile. I’ve cooked professionally, and it’s so true that you barely ever cook at home when you do it for a living. It’s kind of sad, on one hand.

  22. Stepping away from watching those variations of TopChef, this post captured the simplicity of the joys that food brings. Thanks for reminding me to be grateful for the food and company I enjoy everyday.

  23. Great post! I too love food, and I love the possibilities it offers us and our loved ones, if only we give it a chance.
    We live in a hectic, frantic world, but food can bring us together again, no internet needed, just some simple (healthy) delicious food.
    (I love the bread pictures!)

  24. I love that you love food! I am a huge foodie too, and live for moments you described. There is nothing more cozy and fulfilling than sitting down and breaking bread with close friends at home. Good food, good people, good wine, what more could a person ask for?

  25. This is an absolutely beautiful post. There really isn’t anything better than enjoying wonderful, hearty food with the ones you love. Thank you for reminding us all of that!

  26. I couldn’t agree more, food, the preparation of food and sharing of a meal is an incredibly special and heartening experience. Thank you for sharing.

  27. Reblogged this on Hypnotic bites. and commented:
    This was such a wonderful peice of writing I had to share, for me it summed up all the good things about food. The joy of preparing food and the simple pleasure of sharing a meal with those people you care about. Made me think back to why I became a chef in the first place and most of all miss what I had.

  28. I have a passion for food, but more importantly (to me) the places in which they are served (restaurants and cafes). Your post has given me more of an insight into why people begin to feel the need to cook or serve food professionally, so thank you!

  29. What a great post. I truly can relate to your lovely message. I too love to cook for those who appreciate my efforts. It is especially delightful when someone else volunteers to clean up.

  30. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Like words and music, food and sharing it with others provides a comforting place for me..Unlike writing where you often do not get to see the reactions to your long hours of work, you get an immediate reaction to your cooking and next time you are at the table with family or friends watch the person who cooked the meal and they will search each guest’s face before eating their own meal… you can tell instantly if that person is savouring that first mouthful…a clean plate always helps of course. But that instant feedback is delicious. Thanks to Hypnotic bites for sharing his post from Southern Belly in the first place.

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