About Ruth’s Table

Food has always had an impact on my life. Whether it was growing up in a community that depended on crops and livestock to thrive, growing our own vegetables in our garden, or spending time in the kitchen cooking and baking with family I have so many memories tied to food. The older I get the more I realize the importance of those moments. The moments where we slow down, share a meal around a table, and remember those that paved the way before us. Those memories are things that keep me grounded.

I grew up in a family that loves to cook. Some of my earliest memories are of family gatherings at my Great Grandma Ruth’s house (who this blog is named after) sitting around the table enjoying a big Thanksgiving or Christmas feast together. Or my Great Grandma Duer using every flat surface in her home – including the washing machine – to dry homemade noodles. I would help my Pappa fix dinner most every night while we waited for my mom and grandma to get home from work. He taught me to make Waldorf Salad and meatloaf from my perch on a chair at the kitchen counter. On the weekends my Grandma would take over the kitchen and bake cakes and all kinds of treats for me and my friends.

Summertime meant early mornings fishing and mushroom hunting with my grandparents and vacations spent at the beach visiting their friends and eating all the Florida seafood I could handle. We kept empty butter tubs in the car so we were prepared if we saw wild blackberry bushes or asparagus growing along a fence line. I would spend a couple weeks with my Dad every summer in Virginia cooking big Italian meals or perfecting his recipe for the perfect ribs. I took family road trips to the South and out West where I was exposed to Native American, Texas, Mexican, and Creole cuisine. My mom and I would be inspired and recreate those experiences at home. As I got older my Mom and I would have all those important mother daughter talks over sizzling pans and boiling pots.

Many of the recipes on this blog are stories and moments from growing up in rural Ohio. Other recipes are inspired by places I have traveled in my life.ย  Some I’ve created because I was inspired by someone – a culture, a place, a story. Food to me is an expression of life and family. It’s how I take care of people. It’s how I get to know someone. It’s how I honor and remember someone important to me.

When someone makes me a handcrafted cocktail I get a peek into who they are. I am transported to my friend’s youth by a bite of a homemade tortilla. I am back in my Grandma’s kitchen when I smell cinnamon. I got choked up over a dish at our favorite restaurant because it reminded me of my Pappa and his love for black walnuts. Food did all of that.

Food is a celebration – of life, of achievement, of love, of friendship, of happiness, of loss. We often get so caught up in the pace of life that we don’t take the time to stop and savor the moment. No matter the circumstances, sitting around the table sharing a meal can and will be an experience that will create memories that last a lifetime. I challenge you to find the time. I promise you won’t regret it.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Bobbi Miller says:

    Amanda, this touched me so. I wish I had read this before the book was published….I would have pulled quotes from it! Just love what you said! And, love “Ruth’s Table”…… I so resonate with that as I have my great grandparents table on my front porch! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Kaitlyn Schmitt says:

    I am super interested in your meal-prepping!

    1. Ruth's Table says:

      Check this post out: https://ruthstable.wordpress.com/2015/11/03/weeknight-warrior-chicken-broccoli-and-tomato-mac/. This is what I do every week and it makes life so easy! I also have plans for a blog post soon that will highlight my notebook and the ingredients I use for multiple meals. Follow the blog and stay tuned!

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