The Table

January 15, 2009

The pleasures of the table are of all times and all ages, of every country and of every day; they can be associated with all the other pleasures and remain the last to console us for the loss of the rest.
~Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

The Table presides over your cuisine.

Even though food discussions often naturally begin at the market and then progress from the kitchen to plate, I feel the final resting place for your victuals deserves first mention.

Derived from the Latin “tabula,” meaning “plank” or “tablet,” The Table is sometimes relegated to that utilitarian flat surface in your home. Despite this drab definition, The Table serves a variety of functions. In its simplest form, The Table is a flat geometrically shaped slab top supported by legs. Yet add to that basic board candles, color, dishes, glasses, a sumptuous feast of food, bread and wine, and The Table becomes transformed into a theater set. Add the personae around (or even under) The Table from differing generations, traditions, families, intellects, social strata, cultures and backgrounds…then it morphs into a social sanctuary, a topless yurt for nomads with no reservations with the common goal of savoring your food in the simple company of humanity. Ambivalence and lethargy rarely reside at The Table; rather it becomes the grand leveller.

The Table has cradled young and old—ever teeming with laughter, tears, passion, glee, anger, celebrations, disunions, harmony, with both contentious and soothing words. Over several decades, my same table has been serving me a vivid, streaming kaleidoscope of remembrances. My fortune.

The Table not only recalls but creates memories…individual and communal…which will transform your life.

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