Bread & Wine, Shauna Niequist's latest offering of essays are as charming and disarming as we've come to expect from this warm-hearted storyteller. The icing on the cake is the additional treat of favorite recipes which perfectly frame a narrative built around eating and hospitality.
Her stories are sensuous and evocative, celebrating memories shared around tables and the ways we nourish more than bodies in the breaking of bread. Shauna makes you want to cook and more than that, to feed people. Her vision of hospitality is one we seem to have lost along the way and long for again.
This is not a book about "entertaining" or showing off but eating together, eating simply, and eating well. She shares travel stories, heartbreaks, and lessons learned in community, balance, and embodied living. You definitely come away wanting to share a meal at Shauna's house, but it's still relatable: she confesses to serving cheese and crackers for dinner and admits it can be easier to feed a crowd than cook for your family day in and day out. She offers practical tips for doing both better, sharing her own learning process in between honest stories about friendship, parenting, celebration, shared burdens, and eating with joy.
I read an advanced copy that was missing a few recipes (although I have them in my inbox), and I look forward to putting more into my rotation. I did make her Breakfast Cookies. They were a little too wholesome for my picky eaters, who longed for a bite of chocolate with their banana, coconut, and oats, but they've been good for me before or after workouts.
I've been dressing salads in simple oil and vinegar for months, but Shauna convinced me that homemade vinaigrette can be just as simple and twice as versatile. Olive oil is no good in the fridge, but a maple Dijon balsamic dressing can sit out on the counter for up to a week and is as tasty on roasted asparagus as it is on greens (and probably quite good as a marinade, too). I've already made it twice, no measuring.
I definitely want to try the Dark Chocolate Sea Salted Butter Toffee and Annette's Enchiladas because hers look simpler than the way I make them, and I keep hearing rave reviews.
Both down-to-earth and inspiring, Bread & Wine captures the pleasures of fresh food, full-bodied flavor, and life shared around the table.
Gather the people you love around your table and feed them with love and honesty and creativity. Feed them with your hands and the flavors and smells that remind you of home and beauty and the best stories you've ever heard, the best stories you've ever lived.
There will be a day when it all falls apart...There are things we can't change. Not one of them. Can't fix, can't heal, can't put the broken pieces back together. But what I can do is offer myself, wholehearted and present, to walk with the people I love through the fear and the mess. That's all any of us can do. That's what we're here for. (come to the table, Bread & Wine)
review copy provided by zondervan. opinions mine, affiliate links, what-have-have. as you were, soldier.