I starting writing for this blog last February — almost a full year ago. I am grateful to my readers for all the comments, likes and follows. Place at the Table provided respite for me during a difficult year. In 2016, I watched my online community and the country at large “lose their religion” over gun violence, Black Lives Matter, bathrooms and LGBTQ rights, the Greensward, politics, the November election, celebrity deaths, etc., like never before. During many of those exhausting moments, I wanted to retreat completely from Facebook and other social media to avoid the rancor on all sides. I learned to tread more carefully online because I felt a breakdown in the social fabric which binds us. I did not completely retreat and instead focused my time and energy in spaces like this blog and a new Facebook group called Memphis Cooks that build community around good food and drink – something we can all agree . I take the name of this blog seriously.
We all need a place at the table where we feel welcome and at home. We need more hospitality and bread breaking in this world if we hope to heal our community and world. Good food and drink won’t solve the problems and divisions, but the hospitality that comes with them opens doors.
I enjoy documenting my toils in the kitchen as well as restaurant reviews here, but the pattern I notice is that people enjoy reading posts that conjure memories of food and friendly spaces as well as food justice. I hope to bring more of the same in the coming year. Here are the Top Five Posts of 2016 for Place at the Table: