I come from a family of feeders. If you are over at my house, I will offer you food. If you are eating at my house, I will offer you more food. If I am at your house, I will offer to cook for you. Both the Pioneer side and the Polish side of my family associate feeding our guests and friends with taking care of them. Even in high school, when my friends would stop by (sometimes after clearly ingesting hunger stimulating substances), my dad would offer them carrot sticks or apple boats and cheese. Are you an out of town guest? We will have a dinner in your honor. Whether or not you want one. Don’t fight it, just let it happen.
Fact: I have a leather couch in my kitchen. Because when people are over everyone tends to gather in the kitchen rather than the living room. Make them comfy and feed them snacks and cocktails. Perfect.
My aunts brought me a table on Sunday. This table has been in my Dad’s family forever. Its 150 years old (sesquicentennial table/Idaho party, anyone?). The table was made before my Dad’s family arrived in Massachusetts from Poland/Belarus. The table was built around the same time my Mother’s family homesteaded Boise. 150 is a perfect number.
As a child, Grandma GiGi used to make us scrambled eggs and pancakes. We’d sit on the bench underneath the portrait of the Last Supper hanging on the painted cinderblock. We’d eat until we were painfully stuffed and GiGi would remind us that we can’t sing at the table or else we’d have a crazy husband.
At Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, and any other dinner occasion, I remember making mashed potato volcanoes at that table. I was constantly worried I’d hit the leaf support and knock the hot food to the floor.
Between my own memories of the table, and what a dining room table represents for me and my expressions of love and friendship, I can’t wait to host brunch at my house this Summer. Don’t be surprised if I get a bit maudlin after a mimosa or two.