Friends at my Table
Remember my New Year’s post?
This year I wanted to invite my friends to my home table, and I’ve been lucky enough to do it a few times already. I have even had the rare and wonderful opportunity to host some of my friends and family from Canada in my home for extended stays. When you usually live close to people, you don’t often get the chance to have them stay in your home for more than an evening.
It was especially wonderful to host my husband’s parents while they were visiting us here in Scotland. It’s an amazing role reversal to play host to your parents; suddenly you are in charge of dinner and the asking about the overnight temperature of the house and fresh towels and comfort. I can’t say I wish to live this far from family for long, but I do like having house guests.
We have more guests coming to stay this month and in between I’m hoping to enjoy some more gatherings around our table with friends from here. It’s a good thing Quadrille Publishing released a lovely new book last month called Friends at my Table (fitting, no?).
It’s by Alice Hart, who also wrote a book in Quadrille’s New Voices in Food series. This girl knows what’s up when it comes to entertaining; she has catered and cheffed and run baking stalls and she even set up and ran a hit pop-up restaurant, The Hart and Fuggle with fellow food writer and chef, Georgina Fuggle. I trust her tips.
The book is divided into seasons, then specific events ranging from the casual Firepit Night or Garden Brunch to the more upscale, but still relaxed Help Yourself New Year’s Eve Supper and even a Laid-Back Country Wedding. Each event has a menu and write-up about the recipes with extra suggestions for decor and stress-free entertaining.
But the thing that really sets this book apart are the ideas for little extras. Gorgeous illustrations and information about wild swimming, rock pools, instructions for playing beach cricket and identifying clouds make this a book that is meant to facilitate memory making. It’s a practical tool for cooking and entertaining, yes, but it’s also instant transportation to a hazy afternoon daydream.
Stay tuned, I’m sure I’ll have more to say on this book as the summer unfolds.
With special thanks to Quadrille Publishing for the review copy.