Tania's Spirited Table DNA
by Tania Staps, Tastemaker in Residence
Presently, I have two "Spirited Tables" where I love to sit and eat and talk and share.
The first table is with my family and close friends where we discuss current events, things that are going on in our lives, and the occasional politics and religion conversations, that are usually off topic, but fun to discuss nonetheless. Then, there is the food...whether it is the Southern cuisine of my family, something grilled, or my absolute favorite--seafood on the water; food is always a blessing as far as I am concerned. When you are able to have great food, not so boring conversation, and can look around the table at familiar faces who have loved you through thick and thin, that's my idea of a slice of Heaven right here on Earth. I have realized If you are lucky enough to have these things in your life, immediately say a prayer of thanks. 'Cause this is a Blessing that so many do not have.
Living in Nashville has been such an amazing chapter in my life. One thing that is a constant here is the fact that most people are not from here, so, creating a "Nashville family" has saved me. I know. When I speak to so many people about this, I hear the same thing..."It's so nice to have community, a family. When you do not have your blood related family here."
So much happens around a table when strangers break bread together. If you do that enough, you are just bound to become "family." Nothing brings people together like a meal. Most of my friends are single, so having a meal at the table is not something we do that often, and there is something about being at someone's home as opposed to a restaurant that is even more special.
I would like to give a shout-out to my adopted "Nashville family," The Tannehills. I met Rocky and Jean Tannehill several years ago, and there was an immediate connection. I had been praying for God to send me a "Nashville family" and these precious people came into my life. What a blessing they have been to me. They not only opened their hearts and home to me, but they have done the same for so many others as well. Just the other night, after church, we all came back to their house and ate together and shared life. It was amazing. As I looked around the room, it just warmed my heart to see all of these people eating, laughing, and talking. I thought, this is what life is all about, and I could not be happier. Jean and Rocky share their home, hospitality and love for others. They really create a sense of community and just love on people. I believe this brings more life to people than anything else, and I thank God for these people every day.
I also like to sit at a smaller table with my close girlfriends as we all discuss what's going on in our lives and enjoy a good meal. When you are single there's just nothing like good girlfriends. Nothing! They. Just. Know! And when your are single and of a certain age...they really know. And my lovelies, you know who you are, I am as sane as I am today because of you all. We talk about Mr. Right and when he might show up. Anyway...(I'm literally laughing out loud!) I was just talking to a friend today about the dinners we will have together. I said, "I am going to have to have someone who understands and appreciates the beauty of an 8 hour dinner, like they do in Europe. I want the sherbet to cleanse my palate and the espresso at the end; and whatever else they do, I want that. I want to have another couple who loves to do that as well." They know how to dine." My friend agreed, and we continued to dream about "one day our prince will surely come!" I have a dinner napkin that reads...
"My prince is on his way, he just took a wrong turn, and is too stubborn to ask for directions!"
Life is funny. But if you are lucky enough to have good friends, family, love, and a "Spirited Table" with food on it.... well, what more could you ask for?