Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Bread & Wine Girls

Back in the fall, when the trees dressed themselves up in red and yellow and the thermometer was starting to dip, I spent a few weeks in what my favorite heroine from literature called "the depths of despair." I was missing home, missing friends, missing all the joy of October in Pittsburgh. Quite by accident, I came across a little blue hardback book at the library called Bittersweet. I devoured the book, and then reread my favorite chapters three more times. It was like curling up and chatting with an old friend. My soul found rest in its well-worn pages.

When I'd finished Bittersweet I was hungry for more from the writer, Shauna Niequist, which led me to her newest book, Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes, and to a fantastic idea. Why not gather a ragtag group of new friends together for the food and fellowship Niequist so beautifully writes about? Why not be intentional about it?

I started asking new friends who I thought might enjoy this sort of thing, and before long the Bread & Wine Girls were official. Eight of us, all different in many ways, all similar in many ways, gathering one night a month to share a little bit of our hearts and our lives with one another while plates are passed and friendships have the space to take root.

We had our inaugural get together last week, and I have to say, it was a smashing success :-). I made a few recipes from the book, and there was lots of talking and lots of laughter. I'm going to share the recipes I tried on the blog this week - the good, the bad, and the gluten-free ugly. I was surprised at how much fun it was to try to cook new things.

I'm thankful for bread. And wine. And new friendships. And good food. And books that minister to our hearts when other things simply can't.

"It's about a spirit or quality of living that rises up when we offer one another life itself, in the form of dinner or soup or breakfast, or bread and wine."
-Shauna Niequist, Bread and Wine

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