Whether you call it a brunch board or a grazing table, this style of entertaining delivers a visual feast without a lot of effort.
The Personal Stuff: A Brunch in Celebration of Worth Manifesto
“How was it?” he asked after I returned the absurdly large coffee container. “Excellent!” I said, shyly scratching the surface of what that coffee had meant to me.
It struck me how something seemingly insignificant to him felt profoundly positive to me. To him, it may have been a routine motion of grinding beans, dumping grounds over a filter, pressing a few buttons and letting the machine and hot water work their magic (because good coffee is magic).
I wanted to tell him the coffee and his role in it mattered. I wanted to tell him that customer service is a thankless job, but I appreciate it. I wanted to tell him that a warm mug of coffee can be an important part of profound equations. I started to imagine the trickle effect of one coffee shop.
How many important emails were sent with each brew? How many sparks of creativity emerged with a jolt of caffeine? How many friends had reassuring moments over hefty mugs? How many couples felt the calm reassurance of knowing exactly what their significant other wanted? How many cups of tea brought a sense of renewal to someone in stress?
We think we have to do BIG things with our lives, but I started to see the important trickle of little contributions. He searched a basement for a coffee container. He found it and filled it for me, and buying that vat of coffee meant I wasn’t tethered to my own Chemex. I wasn’t boiling water on repeat at home. It meant I was more prepared and more relaxed when my guests arrived.
With warm mugs of coffee and tea in our hands, my guests opened up to each other. We celebrated a woman who finds humanity in everyone, who inspires me to face loneliness with compassionate connection, to step outside my comfort zone and to dare to tackle the BIG things. She has made me see a different world, a world with sharp contrasts of cruelty and immense love. She has made me see the power of a trickle.
For too long I thought giving back would come later, that I had to get more of my life and career in place first, that larger gestures would come. I volunteered here or there, put small donations on autopilot and continued to keep my head down in my own stress. Sandra opened my eyes. She inspired me to find ways to give, to see a different perspective and want to do something more. She’s planted those seeds in countless others too.
For the past few months, I’ve been reevaluating my work, what earns a “yes” and what merits a “no.” I’ve questioned what sparks joy and where I find meaningful connection. I’ve carved more time for friends and more time for myself. I’ve traded True Crime podcasts for Oprah Super Soul sessions and tried very hard not to become one of those coachy people who always quotes Oprah, but it’s hard not to boil over with her infinite wisdom. In these times of quieter reflection, I keep returning to a Maya Angelou quote, a beautiful crafting of words into a compass by which I want to guide my life:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
I don’t know what big projects are on my horizon, or what the fine-tuning of my career will look like yet, but I know this: I want to make people feel special and celebrated. I want to empower people to feel their value and their contribution, whether it be passing them a microphone on stage or really enjoying the cup of coffee they made me. I want to be part of restoring humanity, which is why Sandra’s work is so inspiring to me.
If this resonates with you, please take some time to meet Sandra and to find a way to be part of her organization, Worth Manifesto.
Just the Food Stuff: A Brunch Board
Whether you call it a brunch board or a grazing table, this style of entertaining delivers a visual feast without a lot of effort. There’s no careful calculations of oven temperatures and baking times, no juggling of frittatas and French toasts. You don’t even need to turn on your oven. You just need to grocery shop and pile ingredients on a board.
Suggested Brunch Board Ingredients:
- Yogurt & Parfait Fixings like granola & berries
- Colorful fruit
- Nut butters with nut garnishes or homemade nutella
- Little delicacies like mini croissants, muffins, or Belgian waffle chunks
- Lox & fixings like fresh dill, capers and cream cheese
- Edible flowers or fresh herbs for a garnish
- Jams and/or homemade cranberry sauce
- something indulgent like dark chocolate covered almonds
Serve all of the above with a hearty loaf of sourdough (which I had thanks to my talented friend Shauna), gluten-free bread (if need be), or mini bagels… or all of the above.
… and don’t forget the mimosas!
Just the Julep Stuff:
Play hard. Love hard. Nap hard. If anyone believes she is worthy of love, it’s this girl…
Be well, friends.