Gather, to gather, gathering–what does that mean to you?
The verb “to gather” truly has a different definition for everyone. The dictionary defines gather as:
Here at Monica’s Table we take a different approach to the food scene. Instead of focusing on cooking and recipes, our focus is the experience of gathering, hence, our tagline is: “The Art of Gathering.”
What We’re About
Do you ever plan a meeting, party or invite others over without having food? No—I didn’t think so. The Art of Gathering is truly and important one that often gets overlooked. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that someone feels uncomfortable coming to my house so often because they can’t return the gesture. They shouldn’t worry about that!
But if they’re wondering where to start with how to create a party….how to create an environment of celebration and comfort…I love to help people make this happen in their own lives!
My calling is to help you feel comfortable with gathering. It doesn’t matter if you are starting out, or one that enjoys entertaining and wants to share!
Both the newbie and the seasoned can share their experiences and connect with others to share or gather inspiration.
We always have something here at Monica’s Table. Whether it’s our favorite butcher giving tips on how to prepare meat, information on how to create the most beautiful flower arrangements, or a feature on the farmers at the farmers market….there is something for everybody at our table!
What do you consider entertaining?
No – This isn’t a trick question…each of us has a different interpretation of the term. To some, it comes naturally…but to most it is a learned skill. We observe our parents, friends etc., when we are young and see how things are done.
My Personal Story
My parents didn’t entertain much. My Dad loved to, my Mother had no interest. Mom was an introvert who preferred to be with her books, Dad was an extrovert who liked to be with people, so he would insist on having a party every so often. But when Dad entertained, it was an ordeal…and not pretty—his parties would go on for days. This was my earliest experience.
Without much home entertainment going on in my home growing up, I was very tentative about having people over to the house. I would see others who had wonderful parties, their parents were gracious hosts and they thrived on having others around. My Mother’s aversion crept into my psyche. Growing up in that household, it was not fun to have friends over. I had one party in High School and gave up after that. At that moment in my life, I thought creating gatherings was not my thing. Boy, was I mistaken. Isn’t it amazing how our lives can transform and change?!
So, eventually, I went away to college and spent more time with Dodie, my paternal Grandmother, who taught me some of her cooking basics and how to entertain in a casual way. My Grandmother was a natural cook, so was my Dad—and I inherited their genes.
Dodie lived about 30 miles from where I went to college so I could go over there to escape, even for a weeknight dinner if needed. There was always an Aunt, Uncle, cousin, or a group of relatives in the house.
Very rarely did Dodie and I eat alone when I visited her. I began to see how much fun it was to gather others around the table! Food relaxes people, makes them talk, and is the cornerstone of the family.
Today, Steve and I gather at the table for dinner and chat about our day. Even if dinner consists of a Tuna Sub for Steve and salad for me, we sit and eat together and really talk about what is going on in our lives.
Inviting People In
This concept gets a bit more complicated when we invite outsiders to our table. Be it a cocktail party, dinner, whatever. Personalities play a role. You can’t count on how others react to you, each other, etc. Those we invite can look through our things, drink too much, react to something that is said and as the host, we must expect some of this, deal with it and learn from it.
Whether you love to entertain and do it frequently or if the thought of others coming into your home frightens you to death, we are here to help handle some of the curveballs thrown to you. You will have your own experiences, survive them…and come out more knowledgeable for it. After all, that is how we learn…
It’s A Community
Monica’s Table was created to focus on the “Art of Gathering” and “Creating Memories that Matter,” that’s why you’ll see us use the hashtag, #TheArtofGathering on social media.
There are tons of food-centric sites, shows, magazines out there, and what makes us different is that we’re focused on gathering…and, indeed, food is a part of that.
Tell us below, what are YOUR favorite memories that relate to gathering? What do you do to enrich the lives of those around you?
I know you have many memories! And most of us have memories that are connected with with those we love…family, friends, etc. Anywhere you go, whether it be a social or business setting there is always an opportunity to offer a beverage, coffee, tea, water, to make those around you feel more comfortable.