Friday, April 26, 2013

Dinner is served

I've been reading this book lately.
Now, please don't mistake this as a book review; it's not. I'm only on the fourth chapter. What this is, however, is a quick recap of a fantastic evening ... and an invitation to dinner.

But first, backstory. (Every good story starts with a backstory, right?) For Christmas last year, my sister Kathie gave each of us Bieritz girls (me, and sisters Pat and Jenn ... not nuns, actual sisters) a bottle of wine, and a book plate. The book plate was to be inserted in our copies of the above book, when it was finally released. The box from Amazon arrived a few weeks back, and I diligently inserted my book plate and settled in to read.

Yes, I'm still on chapter four. It takes me a long time to read, because I generally fall asleep after just a few pages. Stop judging.
My copy of the book. And my fingers. And evidence that I desperately need a mani.
It is a wonderful read. As the cover says, it is a love letter to life around the table; stories from gatherings and inspiration to strengthen relationships. It's gorgeous in word and feel. (Side note: while I love love love my Kindle, my favorite books are real books. Reading is a tactile experience. The paper feels nice!) Plus, recipes! So good. 

The author, Shauna Niequist, hosted a book release party in Deer Park, and Kathie was good enough to get our names on the guest list. The party was last night, and it was incredible. 

Author Shauna Niequist and me. I hate this photo of me, so I choose to believe it's just the angle.
The shindig was held at the new Lululemon Athletica in Deer Park. I love Lululemon; I wish they made pants big enough to accommodate my ample self, because their fabrics are just beyond. Anyway, Kath and I went to Chipotle (can you say "carnitas"? I knew you could!) for a quick bite and then made our way across the street to Lulu.

The store is gorgeous, filled with beautiful clothing for what? Working out. Running and yoga, specifically. Yes, please. (Note to self: set up a savings account for this particular addiction.) And tonight it was filled with beautiful cheeses, and fig spread and bread, and fruit. And chocolate. Good God, the chocolate.

And this; there was also this.
A bottle of red; my choice for the evening. One glass only; I'm driving.
Not to be outdone, there was this, too.
A bottle of white. Kathie absolutely adored this Sauvignon Blanc (which I am convinced means "white couch" in French.)
We mixed. We mingled. We shopped. (How often do you get to buy a new sports bra whilst drinking a glass of cab, I ask you?) And we listened to Shauna talk about writing this book, and what it means to build community. We prayed for a family wounded in the Boston bombing, and we took a few pictures.

I met Nina, the woman who wrote this blog post about the bombing and what it means to runners. I love it; it feels like she knew what I was thinking and wrote it for me. So wow, what a pleasure to meet her! I was in geeked-out-author-admiration-overload, meeting her and Shauna in the same night. Eep!

Drawing the evening to a close, Shauna read a snippet from the final chapter of Bread & Wine. It goes like this:
"This is what I want you to do: I want you to tell someone you love them, and dinner's at six. I want you to throw open your front door and welcome the people you love into the inevitable mess with hugs and laughter. I want you to light a burner on the stove, to chop and stir and season with love and abandon. Begin with an onion and a drizzle of olive oil, and go from there, anyone of a million different places, any one of a million different meals.
"Gather the people you love around your table and feed the with love and honesty and creativity. Feed them with your hands and the flavors and smells that remind you of home and beauty and the best stories yo've ever heard, the best stories you've ever lived."
So consider this your invitation. I may ask you to bring a dish to share, or to set the table, but I am poised to throw open the door and share stories. When are you free?

1 comment:

Janie said...

Always. I will come to your table and/or you may come to mine. Name the date, Dearie!