Girls, dinner's ready! Set the table! I can still hear my mom assigning that last important task to my sister and me before our family could sit down to enjoy a meal together. In the midst of our busy schedules, the four of us were able to create wonderful memories around the dinner table. These days, I find myself striving to create that same closeness for my family. And achieving those memories begins with the simple task of setting the table. My husband is responsible for that now, but before long, it will our son's turn.
For generations, setting the table has been the precursor to many family dinners. Everyone pulls up a chair and leaves TV, phones and computers behind. For a short while, nothing matters but the people sitting around you and the food on your plate. The stresses of the daily grind melt away with a spoonful of creamy, comforting mashed potatoes or swirling a fork in a plate of pasta. The sound of clinking glasses is second only to the laughter bouncing off the walls. And the feeling that you belong right there in that chair, at that table, is unparalleled.
I’ve experienced this feeling with both family and friends and have been lucky enough to find such closeness even in times of transition. Our geographic location may change, but no matter where we end up, there is always a table that needs to be set. Our table has been set with chopsticks for sushi in Japan, big soup spoons and bowls for chili in Colorado, and plates that have seen many a hotdish in Minnesota. Regardless of where we are, once the table is set, people…friends, family and strangers…will come. A sense of home is sure to follow.
Some of you may know me from my blog, Tokyo Terrace, while others may not have the slightest idea who I am. No matter what path led you to this site, I invite you pull up a chair and stay a while so we can get to know each other. You’ll find recipes influenced by my life in Japan, my time growing up in the Midwest, and the places in between. My hope is that my recipes, photographs, and stories will inspire you to set your table.