Monday, February 26, 2007

In my library bag: Two For The Road

I don't know why I checked out Two For The Road days after giving up restaurants for Lent. Best-selling Roadfood authors Jane and Michael Stern have me salivating on every page. This book is more memoir than food guide, but the story behind their quest is as delicious as their descriptions. At least I can live vicariously through their 12 meals a day!

The Sterns' descriptions did prod me into whipping up a traditional Sunday dinner at home: chicken and dumplings, stewed tomatoes with leeks, peas with pimento and mushrooms. Perfectionism has always kept me from setting a Sunday table and inviting guests. I forced myself to use this yard sale tablecloth without starching it first. If I hold myself to impossible standards, I'll never get in the habit of hospitality.

10 comments:

Rean Day said...

Meredith,
What a beautiful table. I know what you mean about perfectionism! It holds us back from so much doesn't it. What a great idea to give up restaurants for lent. Even though I don't observe lent, that seems like a great "30 day" goal.

Rean Day

Gena said...

Your table looks absolutely beautiful, even without a starched cloth! And I agree - trying to be "perfect" can be paralyzing.

Anonymous said...

I am trying more for family Sunday dinners for a different reason: even though we rarely eat out, making HOLIDAY dinners seems daunting. So, I'm doing Sunday dinners 'for practice.'

Jora

Copper's Wife said...

Please don't wait until things are "perfect" before inviting folks over! In the first place, you'll end up never inviting people over. Secondly, and much more importantly, the fellowship of the visit is the main point. Folks will come to spend time with you and your lovely family. Sharing your less than perfect home will inspire your guests to practice hospitality, knowing that their homes don't have to be perfect either (though, Meredith, your home is very pretty and quite obviously well cared for).

Your Sunday dinner table looks lovely!

Amy said...

I can't be too critical as I am exactly the same way. It is unfortunate that this prevents me from enjoying visits and I have recently tried to be a little more relaxed with my expectations. Suprisingly, everyone still enjoys the food & the visit all the same.

Your table looks lovely and your dishes made me really hungry ;)

Lori said...

Your table is just lovely!

And I've read just enough of your blog to know that you could probably whip up a dinner to rival anything in a restaurant. When DH and I are craving something special from a restaurant but the budget does not allow, I can usually make something comparable for much less.

Anonymous said...

I understand your feelings about hospitality--my home is far from "company perfect" and with two young sons and a limited budget it will remain that way for years to come. I make myself invite people over despite the perceived shortcomings of my decor. We usually have a wonderful time and no one has ever refused a return invitation. Life is too short to wait until everything is "perfect" to spend times with people I care about! Mrs. G

Alison said...

Thanks for the reminder...I tend to keep so busy hosting playgroup and my mom friends that I forget about having friends for dinner and then when I think of it I tend to expect something out of the pages of House Beautiful.

Leigh Ann said...

It is so true. I just saw a great quote from Sascha Cohen about trying to be better rather than perfect.

Love your blog and am still trying to catch up on your old posts.

Cheers! LA

Candy said...

Oh my goodness...I am LOVING your blog, can you tell :)
I love this table setting!!!! I love the tablecloth.
I love your glass jug and the napkins and the plant on the table.
I would so love to know you and be a friend at your house!!!! :)