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View From Your Table

Tonight I grilled tuna steaks, and we ate them with a delicious green sauce [1]made with preserved lemons, garlic, cilantro, olive oil, a jalapeno, and chives from Julie’s garden (substituting for scallions). We drank a Sancerre with it, which wasn’t the best choice, given how strong the sauce turned out to be. Frankly, only a New Zealand sauvignon blanc might have been able to match the vividness of this sauce. Beer would have been a better choice. Still, it was a great evening. It’s warm outside, and raining softly. After Julie cleared the plates away, I was sitting there enjoying the moment, and had an idea for a new feature on this blog: View From Your Table, an homage, obviously, to Andrew Sullivan’s View From Your Window, but with a culinary spin, as befits this blog.

The idea is this: take a photo from your seat at your table, or any table where you are sitting, and send it to me. I’ll post them — not all of them, and probably not most of them, but some of them. Two limitations: 1) Some portion of the table must be visible in the shot; and 2) there must not be people in the photo. To be more specific, there must not be visible faces in the photo. Send your images to rod.dreher (at) gmail.com, and I’ll do with them what I can. I want to do at least one a day, if this feature gets a good response. Following Andrew Sullivan’s protocol, I’m only going to say which city, state, and country (if applicable) in which the photo was taken. The photo can be before a meal, during a meal, after a meal, absent a meal, whatever you like, as long as it’s a meaningful moment to you, and reasonably well photographed. The one below won’t win any photography contests, but it did capture a certain mood, I think.

Here’s the first entry, which I took about half an hour ago:


St. Francisville, Louisiana

14 Comments (Open | Close)

14 Comments To "View From Your Table"

#1 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On April 29, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

I don’t have a photo of this, but today after church, I went to an upscale market to buy snow peas, fresh ginger root, a clove of garlic, and a head of crinkly cabbage something like Chinese, but have another name, took it home, and made up a pan of chicken vegetable stir fry with soy sauce. (Split chicken breasts were on sale for 99 cents a pound this week). Then I packed half of it into a plastic container and delivered it to my dearest friend who works two sixteen hours shifts as a nurse at a short-term detox center. She really needs a home-cooked meal to get through the week-end. Needless to say, she did not take wine with it. I think right now she is relying on squeezing a little lemon juice into bottles of water.

I’ll try to offer a photo later in the week. It’s a nice idea.

#2 Comment By Ben On April 29, 2012 @ 9:22 pm

Interesting concept

#3 Comment By Camp Topisaw On April 29, 2012 @ 9:33 pm

Is that them LED candles you got there?

#4 Comment By Roland de Chanson On April 29, 2012 @ 10:16 pm

On mange bien et on vit bien chez toi mon vieux. T’as la joie de vivre. Je te félicite!

What you propose is a sort of nature morte of the kitchen. Though I think both the French and the equivalent English equivocate. This is nature vive, nature humaine, nature le don du Bon Dieu.

Would it be possible to tag this and future and (even past) culinary posts so that they can be accessed by, say, gourmandise or some such?

These posts are a foodie’s thesaurus.

#5 Comment By Rod Dreher On April 29, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

Merci, Roland. I’ve started a new category for these, View From Your Table, which will make them all searchable. Many of the past ones are searchable under the “Food” category.

A reader visiting family in Italy just sent in a great shot. I’m going to use it tomorrow.

#6 Comment By Johan On April 30, 2012 @ 7:23 am

I hope you’ll show examples of interesting regional fare — everything from Southern BBQ or catfish fries, to meals that feature Lutefisk, and everything in between.

#7 Comment By Leapold On April 30, 2012 @ 7:46 am

I am inspired. (Have been so low lately, only eating at the kitchen counter. Back to the table!)

#8 Comment By Fred G. On April 30, 2012 @ 10:39 am

Great idea! Working on something for you.

#9 Comment By EB On April 30, 2012 @ 10:41 am

Please do not turn this excellent blog into a foodie love fest. I love to cook and eat, but am not gratified by having food invade every corner of life.

#10 Comment By Lindsey On April 30, 2012 @ 11:38 am

The view from your table is charming! The view from my table is of the pool at my apartment complex, which is occasionally entertaining, but nowhere near as lovely. 🙂 I’m excited about the new idea!

#11 Comment By Leapold On April 30, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

EB, I do not think of this as a “foodie love fest” as all, nor of having food invade every corner of life. Only one small corner, devoted more to the simple joys of life than food.

#12 Comment By EngineerScotty On April 30, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

Are you going to have a “View From Your Table” contest? Will there be a coffee-table book? And will you be entertaining pictures of college dorm-room tables covered with empty beer bottles, fast-food wrappers, and textbooks?


#13 Comment By EngineerScotty On April 30, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

EB–being a conservative shouldn’t mean not enjoying good food. Just because certain forms of fine dining (in particular, that focusing on ingredient source and quality as opposed to just the skill of the chef) have been embraced by urban liberals, doesn’t mean that conservatives should limit themselves to fast food, grits, and chicken-fried steak. Rush Limbaugh enjoys a good meal–so should you. Eating well is not a political act.

In other words, don’t let us progressive have all the fun. Plus, I’m sure some liberal somewhere would be annoyed by a loving photo of freshly-prepared game that you shot yourself. It wouldn’t annoy me–I grew up in the countryside and have no problems with hunting for food, even though I myself am not a hunter–but it might annoy some urban effetes. 🙂

#14 Comment By Lucy Byrd On May 1, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

What a beautiful picture! The Southernness is wonderfully tangible.