Breaking Bread

Warm, freshly baked bread is one of my weaknesses. Can you picture it, tempting you as it cools? Rolls, loaves, baguettes, quick, yeasted, sourdough, enriched, I love it all and the warmth it brings to my kitchen.

A recent sourdough loaf waiting to be sliced.

A kitchen can be a magical place, but if it’s anything like mine, there are gadgets, books, appliances, spices, and artwork scattered throughout. A few summers ago, laughing about the clutter on my countertop and woeful housekeeping, my friend Dani chided me for apologizing and put things in perspective-

“I’m always more comfortable in homes where you can tell people really live in them and build their life there.”

The truth of the matter is, I’m most comfortable in homes that are “lived in” as well.

Forget Instagram perfect pictures, our kitchen is often cluttered with honey filtering, preserved foods to be stored on shelves, and herbs drying.

Walking into a home with personality shares little pieces of your story. It often reminds me that while life can be messy, it is also beautiful… and let’s face it, we built our counter top to be used, not to sit empty as a statement piece.

Last month that summer conversation came flooding back. We traveled to the home of a relatively new family to the area and after realizing a shared love of bread, I found myself in a new kitchen. The tables had turned and I was the one being offered apologies for a family simply utilizing their space. From the seasonings on the counter to the dishes drying, books, and beautiful tea pots, I felt at home. I appreciated the conversation starters that came from just taking in the space around me.

It’s a gift to your guests to share a small part of your story, don’t feel guilty for that.

Remember that early profession about bread? Criss had a beautifully braided loaf for us and indulged my questions about her sourdough, baked a fresh loaf to sample, and even shared her starter and recipe. I knew I was in a good place.

There is a simple beauty in connecting through authentic conversation and spontaneous laughter. In the end, we left with not only an edible work of art and thoughtful gift, but a sense of community… all because new friends opened their kitchen to us. Don’t underestimate the power of simply breaking bread with someone.

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