The Heart of a Home is the Kitchen!
The kitchen may be the heart of a home, but experiences shared at the table are the heartbeats that pulse and keep that kitchen alive with every gathering.
I come from a family where gathering around the table with family and friends was a very special occasion. The meals were prepared with warm thoughts of the guests that were joining in friendship and sharing, willing to spend some happy times and special moments.
When I married, my husband, an American, who could not understand that we Europeans sat for hours at a meal, even after the meal was consumed, continuing with conversation, laughter, yes, sometimes tears while remembering those who were no longer with us. Expressing sadness, and remembering experiences happy or sad, it was part of our gathering around the table. Showing emotions was all part of eating. My father often started to sing an old Croatian or Austrian folk song lifting his glass for everyone to join it. Soon everyone at the table was singing and toasting to each other.
Here in America I continue with the tradition of sitting at the table for extended times sharing conversation and experiences, new and old, after every meal with friends. Sadly no one sings at tables in America.
We will not wash the dishes………….
My American friends do not understand that it is not a European custom to have guests wash dishes after the dinner is over.
I have the hardest time to convince invited guests NOT to wash my dishes when they get up from the table. This is MY job…….I always want my guests to have a good time and enjoy the evening and go home with a glow on their faces remembering the nice time we all had together……..and NOT go home with dish-washer hands.
Take something home ………….
I also like to have my guests take something home with them to remember the nice time at my table.
Always, I make too many pastries for dessert……..therefore, I pack some for each guest to take home………and hoping they will have them for breakfast next morning.
It is of utmost importance to me that at every occasion my guests leave my home with smiles on their faces!