Friday, July 19, 2013

Welcoming Home

Not just generic poster prints or pillows from Pier One, but tokens that capture the essence of my life and heart. Music that makes people smile. A lit candle with a comforting scent, its single small flame licking the air clean. A kitchen full of freshly picked limes ready to be squeezed into cocktails or zested over bowls of berries and cream. A crusty baguette to be placed on a cheese plate, beckoning to the unexpected but oh-so-welcomed guest or waiting to be made into a quick sandwich.

Friends and Webster on a random Wine Wednesday months ago
And there they are: the defining principles of my home, a thoughtful space meant to absorb me into it, where I can check worries at the door and allow others to do the same. Where people feel comfortable and safe and loved. Especially on the days where the world has gotten to them.

Lately, the world has gotten to me. And not altogether in a bad way. But my floors aren’t clean. (One might blame this partly on the three small kids who recently filled my place with laughter and sand after a day at the beach.) I have extra furniture cluttering the space, waiting to be picked up to be put to use by my little brother. There is a big box of homemade jams, awaiting labeling, sitting on the floor. The point being, my home is not spotless these days.

I could come up with countless excuses as to why I shouldn’t host friends for dinner until I have time to sweep and mop. Instead, I just reminded myself my friends care more about laughing and drinking and eating than my clean floors.

I invited them over for some summertime fare. I didn’t want to heat up the house too much, so I did some salads and sandwiches and finger foods. Simple stuff, because it’s what’s important anyway. And I lit a candle, and played some Spotify, and zested limes over bowls of berries and cream.It was a good night, and by the end, I didn't even remember my floors weren't clean. Although the wine might've helped with that a bit.

Here's what I served:

Rosemary Marcona Almonds, goat cheese, syrah-soaked Toscano, homemade peach lavender jam

Crab salad on Belgian endive

Turkey tea sandwiches with arugula aioli

Creamy avocado salad, a real winner

Limoncello mascarpone cream and berries

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