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staying at the table

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“A crazy guest eats and leaves right away.” (Arabic proverb)

There were six of us around our Christmas table this year. We sat down to eat about three and got up from the table somewhere around seven. We had stopped eating quite awhile before we left the table, but we stayed to be fed by the conversation.The same six, along with five others were around the table at Thanksgiving–and we ate and talked and laughed and cried for eight hours. Sharing the mashed potatoes and green beans makes it easier, somehow, to share feelings.The food tastes better, too, when there are more with whom to share.

One of my favorite Christmas gifts was a cookbook called Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook. Along with recipes from around the world, it’s filled with photographs,stories, and quotes (like the one at the beginning of this post) that create a conversation that moves beyond the recipes.

Whether food or friends, life is best savored rather than gulped.

Peace,
Milton

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working with what i have

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I’ve been staring at the “posting” screen for several days now trying to figure out how to join the world of food bloggers. Since I’m writing from a Mac and I don’t know much about HTML, I’m still not sure about adding links and so forth. I wanted the blog to look less plain, but I decided to work with what I have rather than wait for everything to be perfect.

But that’s the way it goes. I ran out of time before Christmas and so I asked my friend Jay to go to the grocery store for me. I had made a list of the stuff that was on sale that I needed; I failed to add some of the basics. When I got up on Sunday morning I realized I didn’t have everything I had planned for. So I headed to the pantry and the fridge to see what possibilities existed that had yet to be discovered. I found arborio rice, Israeli couscous, Vidalia onions, a few sweet potatoes, some craisins, slivered almonds, pine nuts, and fresh spinach.

We sat down at the table to a meal of brown sugar ham, drunken turkey (marinated in bourbon, maple syrup, and orange juice), sweet potatoes au gratin with carmelized onions, roasted corn and pineapple risotto, and couscous with craisins, almonds, pine nuts, spinach, and a little Jerusalem spice I found in the freezer.

We had six around the table: all friends who have become family, all folks who help to make meals matter. We ate and talked for several hours. Food is best with friends and family.

Like it says at the top of the page: don’t eat alone.

Peace,
Milton

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