In keeping with the food and hospitality theme of my last post, a couple of stories/reflections come to mind.
Last week, I enjoyed my first-ever Kaffeetrinken with several other SBS women. In Germany, this is a daily event that takes place around 3:30 or 4:00 pm. (So many of our European friends get this one right—pausing during the day for tea or coffee!) What a delightful break from the ordinary this time was! The French teacher at SBS and her husband recently moved into one of the school’s homes and did quite a bit of work in terms of painting and updating the place so this became our reason for gathering—to ooo and aah over the changes and to enjoy coffee and baked treats together.
There is something about walking into a space and immediately knowing time and care have gone into the preparation for your arrival. I first noticed the heavenly smell of something baking in the oven. As my eye wandered over the living room and dining room, I saw a beautifully laid table with springtime flowers and delicately patterned coffee mugs and dishes. It may sound a bit a cheesy, but I felt a surge of joy and a lifting of the spirit in that moment. We need times like these in our daily lives. We are not machines, designed to constantly crank out work and be productive. Sitting around a table talking, sharing stories, drinking espresso, and eating scones topped with jam and whipped cream, was a treat for the mind and the soul.
I have a new favorite restaurant only a mile from my house! The Three Village Inn is home to two restaurants actually, Mirabelle and The Tavern. The later is my favorite (I can’t afford Mirabelle!). The Inn overlooks the Stony Brook Harbor and offers lovely views of the water and surrounding homes during the summer. Since I only started eating there this past January, I can only imagine how lovely it will be to sit outside on one of the patio chairs this summer. The Tavern is also delightful in the winter. Multiple fireplaces are scattered throughout the dining area and you can request to be seated by one of them. I like that the restaurants takes reservations too. The decor is rustic, yet comfortable, and the food is good. Some of the tasty dishes I have enjoyed are the mixed green salad with house croutons and goat cheese, the super-thin pizza with sour cream, bacon, and sliced onions, beets with walnuts and gorgonzola cheese, the cheese platter, the gnocchi, and the fish-n-chips. I also learned from a co-worker that the restaurant has a relationship with the wine store in the Village so I can buy a bottle of wine and bring it with me to The Tavern. As long as I have my receipt, the restaurant doesn’t charge a corking fee. If you are a beer lover, the Tavern has quite a collection of artisan beers and even a club you can join so you can sample all of them (over time, of course!).
It has been a rough week in the US—the Boston Marathon bombings and the explosion in West, TX (not far from Waco at all!). The fallen nature of our world is evident. While we wait for the restoration of God’s created world, sharing hospitality and enjoying good meals are acts of small graces–reminders of God’s care and goodness to each of us.