My Great Grandmother Dorothy Truog use to say, “It doesn’t matter what I’m eating as long as I’m eating it off a pretty plate.” Or at least that is what my Uncle told me once when we were eating off one of her many sets of china. I was later blessed to be given a set of her china as a wedding gift. Since then I have had somewhat of an obsession with pretty dishes. I rarely use my set of china because I’m afraid of breaking them, but that is really no way to live. I want the dishes to remain special, but I also want to use them. So, I look for special occasions to get them out.
Monday night’s “Ladies Fellowship Night” seemed like the perfect get together to use extra pretty dishes. I also donned the table with a lace table cloth that was a gift to my parents at their wedding. It wasn’t all fancy and extra special though, we drank out of mason jars…mismatched mason jars to be exact! Really though, none of that matters, what matters was the wonderful ladies I had gathered around my table. The food that we each prepared with love for one another, and the amazing conversation.
A wonderful friend of mine, Sarah Washington, introduced me to a book (that I have mentioned before) Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Kitchen Table, in this book the author talks about the dinner party club she has with her friends. I just love this idea, and so does Sarah, so we decided to try and start having “Ladies Fellowship Nights”. Each time the menu would be different, using recipes from the book, and a different lady would host. I volunteered to host the first gathering, and then we invited all of our fellow camp ladies.
We had eight year round camp staff ladies here, plus a wonderful visitor Sara Richardson from Camp to Camp with us, and my daughter Shelby. We used the recipes from the book to come up with our menu, and then six of the eight ladies claimed a dish to provide. My sweet friend Brenna got to come even though she didn’t think she would and she blessed me greatly by washing all the dishes before she left. And our visitor, Sara, brought a carrot cake and blessed us with her presence and conversation. In the book there are some discussion questions, which were great jumping off points for conversation, even though with this particular group of ladies we are never short of great conversation.
Mini Mac and Cheese
Green Well Salad
Steak au Poivre with Cognac Pan Sauce
Goat Cheese Biscuits
Blue Berry Crisp
And let me just say everything was amazing! We had plenty of food, and our bellies were satisfied, as were our souls. Because doesn’t a good conversation around a worn out old kitchen table while eating with good friends satisfy your soul? It does mine.
There were four discussion questions, but we only got through three of them because we kept starting with one topic and ending up somewhere different.
1.) What are your favorite memories from your family’s table during childhood.
This was great, sweet memories were shared, as were very funny ones. Favorite foods were talked about, and least favorite dishes too.
2.) Who are your people, and how did they come to be in your life?
Well, we all smiled as we knew the ladies around my kitchen table were in fact some of our people. How could we not be, we live in close proximity, we work together, and see each other often. But what about our long time people, our long distance people. Best friends from childhood made the list, family of course, people we met as adults. Some funny stories about how some of those friendships came to be were told, (Lindsey Skelton you know I told our story!), and of course each story was sweet because of the love we have for those people.
3.) Have you ever longed for something? What helped you through that season?
We actually only heard two answers about this, because we got off track. I talked about how Ford and I long right now for a home that we own, even though we love our home now and know just how blessed we are to have it. Mostly we talked about how our friendships, even long distance help us through our tough seasons, because its all about people and relationships.
4.) What makes you cry? What do those tears mean for your future?
We didn’t get to this question, but for me lots of things make me cry. How much I love my children and husband makes me cry, tears of joy and sometimes tears of pain. Missing my dearest friends can make me cry, a good book makes me cry, and when God speaks to me I cry.
Along with these questions we talked about wedding dress shopping, our weddings, funny camp stories, we prayed, we ate, we complemented each other on how amazing the food was. We laughed and smiled and I can’t speak for anyone else, but I was blessed by these ladies. God has truly blessed me by putting each and everyone of them in my life, no matter how briefly, and I will thank God for them, and pray that they were blessed as well.
I’m sorry to say there are no pictures of food, we weren’t thinking about taking food pictures, but I plan to post each recipe in the future. Now go out and enjoy your friendships! Eat, pray, and laugh together, it will bless your soul I promise!
P.S. Please remember this is the last post I’ll share here. Please come check out my new site www.foodandfellowship.net Recipes, hostpitality, and stories of fellowship are a few of the things you will find there.