When Matt and I host friends and family in our home, I really like to make an effort to set the table pretty for the meals we share. It doesn’t have to complicated or expensive, I believe simplicity is beautiful.
My heart behind the effort to set the table is not to show off, but to show how happy I am to meet in community over a meal. As a kid, setting the table was probably my least favorite thing to do, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized there’s so much more there. Putting extra effort into setting your table with fresh flowers and other special touches shows that you care—it’s a giant sign that says, “Welcome to my home! I’m so glad you’re here!”
And that doesn’t mean that if you don’t set the table, you’re a bad hostess or your guests will have a bad time. (Flashback: sitting on the floor eating pizza out of a box with my friends in college will stick with me as a happy memory until I’m old and gray.) For me, personally, I want to try to make this a priority to welcome people into my home, and be intentional about how I communicate that.
There’s something so uplifting and mood-brightening about having flowers on the table! It’s one of my favorite things. How pretty are these bright ranunculus’?
For this brunch with the Lands, I made a batch of earl grey citrus shortbread cookies as a slightly-sweet, pre-brunch treat, accompanied by strawberries and a big kale, veggie, and bacon strata. If you’re unfamiliar with strata, it’s a giant, wonderful, egg-y, bread-y breakfast casserole. It’s the perfect make-ahead dish for brunch or breakfast (or any meal, no judgement.)
Even in the seemingly-mundane moments of eating and chatting at the table with my family, these moments matter. It is so meaningful to me to set the table, and more importantly, see it fill with people.
Photos by Matt.