It feels fitting to share this wintry brunch now and reminisce over the good times we had in my beloved apartment as we simultaneously look forward to the gatherings our new dining room will foster.
I inherited my love of entertaining from my mother and her mother before her. Their balance of grace and hospitality inspired me to experiment in the kitchen and to share my table. This passion for sharing and bringing people together is the heart of my book, The Gluten-Free Grains Cookbook.
We took our seats, clanked our glasses, shuffled casserole dishes, salad bowls, and the coveted turkey plate. Amidst the excitement to eat, we did pause. We took time to share what about this friend group filled us with gratitude in the last year, and I'm so grateful we did. The table, the food, the drinks are memorable, but those sentimental moments are what truly mark these occasions.
This year, in particular, has felt like a whirlwind, but taking time to look up at the trees, and at the warm hues sweeping the mountainside, has helped me to feel more grounded and present. A warm bite of an apple cider doughnut would help too. Cinnamon-sugar mindfulness at its best.
This rosy brunch, a precursor to the COVID crisis, was a celebration of a few of the female bonds in my life. It was a celebration of what makes each of us unique and a celebration of what we share. It was my effort to look at my calendar, and my photos, and my posts to see if my values matched my life. Was I defining myself with work, or was I making time to foster relationships? Was I taking action, or was I falsely relying on "someday" and "sometime?"
As a kid, I was always searching for traditions. I orchestrated (read: made my family suffer through) an annual Christmas play with my best friend, complete with violin and piano solos. There were spreads or ring bologna, cheddar cheese, and soda. As an adult, I’m still searching for traditions, but now I err on the side of prosciutto, smoked gouda, and wine. It’s all too easy to let traditions slip away, to avoid the effort, or to overstress (hi!), but these intentional celebrations enrich our lives.