“I am a bread and wine person. By that I mean that I’m a Christian, a person of the body and blood, a person of the bread and wine. Like every Christian, I recognize the two as food and drink, and also, at the very same time, I recognize them as something much greater – mystery and tradition and symbol. Bread is bread and wine is wine, but bread-and-wine is another thing entirely. The two together are the sacred and the material at once, the heaven and earth, the divine and the daily.” Shauna Niequist, author of Bread and Wine
I love having people over. Come to my house for an hour, a day, a week or a month I love having you under my roof. I recognize that not everyone feels this way but it is the way I feel. I love having people around my table talking, laughing, crying, sharing life and food. When we break bread together, share a meal something spectacular happens, we not only are nourishing our bodies through what we eat we are nourishing our souls through the words we are sharing. Nourishment on every level, that’s what Shauna Niequist calls it in her book Bread and Wine.
Bread and Wine is a collection of essays about family, friendships and the meals that bring these two together. It’s also about the ways God teaches and nourishes us as we nourish the people around us. It’s about hunger, both in the physical and emotional and how these are connected. Shauna shares deeply from her heart and her life, the conversations that have happened around her table and the food that was part of those conversations. If you love food and you love people you will want to read this book.
Throughout Bread and Wine, Shauna shares moments from her life, conversation with friends and also conversations she has had with God and what both have shown her. She shares the hard and the good about life and how food, family and friends fit into those places and often make those places better. She shares about her struggles with self -image, miscarriage and friendships that are hard. She shares about her marriage and what it takes to make it work. What I love about this book, aside from how beautifully Shauna writes, is that while I’m reading it I feel like I am at her table, like I am part of the conversation that is happening. I feel welcomed and encouraged and hungry not just for the yummy recipes she gives; Gluten Free Brownies, Chicken Mango Curry, Sweet Potato Fries with Sriracha Dipping Sauce just to name a few of the 29 recipes, but I also crave more time at the table with my people, sharing these new recipes and conversation; nourishment on all levels.
If you love food, love your people and love sharing life together you will want to read this book and don’t think that it’s just a recipe book, because it’s more than that it’s a book to curl up with, sit in the carpool line waiting to pick up the kids from school book. It’s a book that you will read and then read again, it’s a book that will be on the shelf with all your other recipe books, tattered and stained, pages turned down with marks of oil and flour and notes of adjustments and what you loved and who you shared it with. It’s a book full of goodness from the recipes to the stories of life being lived. It’s a book that will nourish you on every level.
Have you read Shauna Niequest’s book Bread and Wine? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.