About week ago I was waking up to cook – a lot.
Wild Nettle and Blue Cheese Toasts, Spice Roasted Chickpeas, Spring Cous Cous Cups, Herby Potato Salad, Spring Diced Radish Salad, Roasted Salmon, Wild Nettle Pesto, Sweet Cashew Cream Jars and a big juicy cake slathered with chamomile infused whip cream sprinkled with bee pollen.
It was a feast and one I am proud to say I had a hand in cooking. Along with my daughter, my husband, one of my best friends and one of my newest friends.
I’m not a great cook and I actually am pretty terrible at following recipes, somehow I always manage to eye ball something and then there will be like 1/3 of a cup of flour left so I’ll just toss it in, or maybe I only have oat flour instead of whole wheat. I try them, I bake them and then I eat them only to realize sometimes they turn out like magic, and others, there actually is way too much flour, salt, baking soda etc. To me, the food is more of a bonus. It may seem like an extra step (we could just get together and drink wine right?) but the magic of people sitting down to a table and connecting over food that’s been cooked with love is second to none. By opening myself up and sharing both my vulnerability through the meal and my thoughts, I hope to inspire other people to do the same. I recognize that it takes a massive amount of courage to open up to others – and that’s okay. It’s worth the bravery to share life and love.
Every time I start to think about hosting a Seasonal Mama Dinner I get the all too familiar feeling of fear slash excitement slash anxiety slash YES, LET’S DO THIS! I go through this set of emotions high to low to high. The planning is always exciting and nerve racking at the same time, mostly because you’re putting yourself out there in this wildly scary way. You’re reaching out and connecting to people you may or may not know with the hopes that they too will share the interest to sit down, eat and connect with a group of mamas. This one in particular was intimidating for me because I was hosting in a new city. People I’ve met along the way here helped out in such big ways – sharing serving dishes because I left all mine in Toronto, dressing the table, dripping said table with foraged flowers, and connecting me to other beautiful souls who shared their magic with us. It’s exactly what I’ve always wanted in a dinner – bringing out other peoples passion in a shared space, because when you do that, somehow everyone just takes a deep breath and lets go. We’re all just doing our best in wanting to share what we’re excited about with the world around us.
The amazing Johnna from FoxMeetsBear is someone I feel so lucky to have connected with here in Minnesota. She’s a dream of a person and has such talent interacting with the world around her. I reached out to see if she would be interested in contributing foraged flowers to the dinner and this is the magic she created.
My friend Anne is an insanely talented interior designer so when I handed her a stack of blush plates and these epic pine coloured linen napkins, she just created this table scape that I couldn’t have done myself. I always admire when people have the vision and are so tuned into how a room should flow. And then there were these caramels from Nicole at The Caramel Jar. I don’t really have any words because Jeff and I devoured 2 packages of these delicious things in about 24 hours after the event. They remind me of the bad Werther’s Original that I ate as a kid but like a billion times better. Nicole is a local Minneapolis mama who recently transplanted to the East Coast. Please check her out!
What I observe consistently at these dinners is that healing is a natural byproduct of witnessing each other’s vulnerability. We all need a secure place to express ourselves honestly and without judgment. To me, this is how we learn to give and receive love. And this is what happens at our Seasonal Mama Dinners. If you missed this one, be sure to keep in touch for upcoming dinners in Toronto and Minneapolis this Summer.