Customer Reviews for

Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing 21 – 33 of 33 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted April 10, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    The pages of Bread & Wine invite you to experience life arou

    The pages of Bread & Wine invite you to experience life around the table with Shauna Niequist, a writer of remarkable skill, humor, and depth whose authenticity and warmth is magnetic. Shauna's use of language is delightful and rich, and her humor never fails to surprise me and make me laugh out loud. Each of Bread & Wine's short chapters tackles experiences common to most everyone--family dynamics, parenting, friendships, change, and loss. The book left me feeling invited--heck, excited--to be more intentional about life around my own kitchen table. Although Shauna is a good deal younger than me (I am 49), and in a different life stage than me, I closed the last page of her book hopeful and deeply motivated to renew my commitment to investing in the relationships that matter most--and with some great new recipes to try on my friends! I have read Niequist's other books, Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life and Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way, which are terrific. Bread & Wine feels like the best of the bunch, and left me hungry for book #4.  Shauna, when will you be cooking up another helping?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2013

    Enjoyable read and family-friendly. I am not promoting the s

    Enjoyable read and family-friendly.

    I am not promoting the sale and use of wine or any alcoholic beverages but, I am promoting harmony and a time to slow down and enjoy your family, loved ones and true friends around the kitchen and dining table. There will come a day when all you have is memories, because one day the chain will be broken.

    In my home as a child and some of my adult life I can remember meals at the table just like on a television show "Soul Food." There is nothing like good food, loved ones around at the table laughing and some sad when a loved one has passed on.

    Bread: I Corinthians 5:8 ... Sacred Seasons; Historical Sacred Seasons; The Passover Becomes a Christian Festival ................ I Corinthians 10:16 ... Sacred Rites & Forms; Sacraments, Worship, & Church-Fellowship; The Lord's Supper, Its Significance 

    Wine: Wine Prescribed; Abuse of It; & Prohibited to the Priesthood When On Duty .... Psalm/Tehillim 104:15; Joel 2:24; I Timothy 5:23; Titus 2:3; Ephesians 5:18; Ezekiel 44:21

    Gather the people you love around your table and feed them with love and honesty and creativity.

    Shauna Niequist mom's dad is Irish, a storyteller and her mom is German, a rose gardener and meticulous baker. They were married just before her grandpa joined the navy, and her mom, their first child, was born at Pearl Harbor.

    Neither of them grew up in religious home, but when they married, they decided that religion was important, and that they wanted to join a church. They visited all sorts of churches before settling at Lake Center Bible Church.

    There is a difference between religious and righteous.

    They were meat and potatoes people, men who work long days on the farm and ate accordingly.

    Six brothers - Shauna's grandfather and her dad's five uncles - all died of heart attacks before they were fifty-five. When she was born her parents knew something had to change.

    Because of Shauna's dad scary family history, her mother became a health food person before it was fashionable.

    Now that Shauna is an adult, she can appreciate how much effort this entailed, how expensive it was for her to feed them that way.

    Sunday afternoons were family time - private, casual, silly.

    The Cooking Club began when Aaron and Shauna moved back to Chicago from Grand Rapids three years ago. There are six of them in the Club.

    They met once a month, and sometimes more, and whoever's hosting the theme and cooks the main course, and then the rest of them fill in - appetizers, side dishes, desserts.

    They have attended funerals and birthday parties together, reported bad tests results, gotten advice about sick children, made trips to the ER, walked together through postpartum depression. They have talked about faith and fear and fighting with their husbands, sleeping through the night and anxiety and how to ask for help when they needed it.

    It all started around the kitchen table, once a month and sometimes more.

    Each of us should be able to nourish ourselves in the most basic way and to create meals and traditions around the table that tell the story of who we are to the people we care about.

    Marketing and advertising campaigns are created to influence us to eat our or buy prepared foods. They want us to think that plain old cooking is difficult and not worth learning. In order to sell canned food and cake mixes, advertisers had to convince American women that cooking is too hard and troublesome for our modern world. But it wasn't true then, and it isn't true now.

    When you're dependent on prepared foods, you don't get to decide how something is seasoned. You don't get to add flavor according to your geography, your story, your table.

    Shauna started buying cookbooks and reading them cover to cover in bed before turning out the lights at the end of the day.

    In my case, I have my bigmomma cookbooks which some of them might be older than I am.

    Our goal is to feed around our table the people we love. We're not chefs or restaurateurs or culinary school graduates, and we shouldn't try to be. Make it the way the people you love want to eat it, and the way you love it.

    During a three-month period after Shauna's last book came out she traveled to twenty-two cities to speak at forty-four events.

    Near the end of that season, she became aware that her appetites were escalating. The longer she was away from home the more intensed her appetites became.

    She was all feasting and no fasting - all noise, connection, go: without rest, space, silence. At one event, she licked the icing off a cupcake right as she walked onstage to speak, mouth full of sugar and butter as she walked up the steps to the podium. She lost her manners and lost her ability to slow down.

    You say grace before meals.
    All right.
    But I say grace before the concert, 
    And grace before I dip the pen in the ink. - G. K. Chesterton, "A Grace," Collected Poetry

    Shauna feels that women feel shame about two things: their bodies and their homes. She feels men have no shame about their homes. She thinks for men its about paychecks or cars and these are stereotypes, but in her house, they hold true.

    When she and her husband were first married, they lived in a one-bedroom town house so small they couldn't sit at their kitchen table at the same time, and the only place for her husband grand piano was their bedroom. It was mostly a big piece of furniture on which to pile their clothes, but sometimes in the middle of the night, Aaron would terrify her out of sleep by sneaking out of bed to play "Great Balls of Fire" at a shattering volume.

    Their first home was not fancy, but it was their first home together.

    In the years they lived in that tiny home, they must have had a hundred parties.

    You'll miss the richest moments in life - the sacred moments when we feel God's grace and presence through the actual faces and hands of the people we love - if you're too scared or too ashamed to open the door.

    She doesn't knock herself out for picky eaters. Homes are are not restaurants and your host is not a short order cook.

    Depending on medical condition of your loved ones and friends some may not be able to eat certain foods so that should be taken into consideration when inviting guests into your home. I know of one person who was taking radiation and was at a business meeting and he could not eat smoked meat. He was doing well until he went to this meeting and he thought that the turkey meat was baked and it was smoked. He had a little back set, but he is doing well now back in his office.

    Shauna is learning that feasting can only exist healthfully - physically, spiritually, and emotionally - in a life that also includes fasting.

    Some things only come by fasting and prayer.

    A few years ago she went to a natural health doctor, after a particular indulgent summer. She was getting sick more easily than usual.

    No one changes their life until the pain is unmanageable, and in all sorts of ways for her, the pain level had reached the unmanageable point. She followed his advice for more than four months. She felt great. She lost some weight, started sleeping better, didn't ache at all.

    Her work these days is to find that fine balance - allowing her senses to taste every bite of life without being driven by appetites, indiscriminate and ravenous.

    Me, myself I am not having any problem staying on my level. For it is just the way I was raised to eat and I have lost weight and losing weight. I am not starving and I am not on any weight loss medications - injections. Just back to the basic. My doctor placed me on the diet that I am on and then I decided to take another look at my bigmomma's cookbooks and nutrition list.

    During Christmastime we find ourselves most tempted to abandon Christlikeness in favor of overspen

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    About 5 months after I moved to Nashville, I read Shauna Niequis

    About 5 months after I moved to Nashville, I read Shauna Niequist's Bittersweet. It met me exactly where I was at. A month later, Shauna spoke at Edgehill Cafe, one of my favorite coffeehouses.

    After the reading, Shauna mentioned her next book would be about the intersection of food, hospitality, and faith. The topic immediately resonated with me. I'm at my best when I'm improvising at the stove and I have loved ones around my table. The table creates room for sustenance, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

    Two years later, it was a thrill to receive a copy of Bread & Wine to review. Equal parts memoir, manifesto, and cookbook, I read Shauna's essays, underlining, taking notes, and nodding my head in recognition. I marked up the recipes (spoiler alert: I want to try them all). I respond to Shauna's writing, as if I've jumped in to the middle of conversation with her, as if we're debating what's the best Chicago pizza (Lou Malnati's) or discussing the hard things of life. Bread & Wine is Shauna's best work yet. I can offer no higher praise.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2013

    Bread and Wine is a tremendous storybook. These stories make yo

    Bread and Wine is a tremendous storybook. These stories make you feel like you're there, around the table and in the kitchen and wrist-deep in the mess of cooking for all of your friends...but at the same time, these stories throw you deeper into your own. They take your heart to this place in Chicago while also setting a place for you around your own table - whether that's the dinner table or the potter's bench or somewhere else altogether. You find yourself encouraged and inspired not just because we all like food (and who doesn't?) but because the very real, very authentic telling of these stories invites you deeper into your own story, where you can just kind of camp out for awhile and be ok with that.

    I'm only giving the book four stars because I was unable to try the recipes. Unless you have a good grocery store close, some of the ingredients may be hard to find. (Almond meal, for instance.) But if you can get your hands on them, then get your hands in them because the recipes do sound delicious.

    It looks like a book for foodies, and maybe it is. But it is a book for the rest of us, too. Those of us who just want a story and a place around the table.

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  • Posted April 8, 2013

    This book is so wonderful. It's like sitting down with your very

    This book is so wonderful. It's like sitting down with your very good friend, at her kitchen table, while she shares life stories, recipes, her triumphs and tragedies, and her faith in God. It was one of the sweetest, yet poignant, books I've read in a long time. I found myself laughing out loud and shedding tears when Shauna struggled with losing her babies and moving away from dear friends.

    I love how real she is! She doesn't filter what she wants to share. She shares it all and it just makes you like her all the more. There is no pretense - just honest sharing of her heart. So much of it I could relate to. I also want to be just like her and give amazing dinner parties where I don't worry about my house being like a magazine, but just sharing good food, great conversations, and laughter.

    The recipes sound so good and there are many that are gluten free because her husband, Aaron can't eat gluten. I have marked several that I want to try out because they sound amazing. I also love that she encourages us to try the recipes and tells us that we can do the ones we may think are complicated. I love that encouragement!

    I was sad when the book was done because I felt like I had lost a friend - like I was one of those friends that moved away. However, I don't have to worry because I will pick up her book again and again to make those recipes and read a snippet here and there of her lovely book! I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do!

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  • Posted April 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Meal time is one of the most important, universal human experien

    Meal time is one of the most important, universal human experiences.

    Ms Niequist gives us a peek into her family’s stories through the lens of food.

    One of my favorite stories is of her family arriving in Paris, tired from long days of travel and sightseeing, and getting caught in a tiny hotel room with her mother-in-law. My own family has had similar adventures on the road.

    This book is unique. After each story, the author shares a recipe inspired by her experiences.

    After describing her antics in Paris, she shares a wonderful three-ingredient chocolate mousse recipe.

    The recipes range from simple to moderately complex, and the ingredients sometimes require a trip to Trader Joe’s. If this doesn’t sound appealing, then go ahead and borrow the book to read the stories.

    But if you’re intrigued, I recommend purchasing this book and keeping it on your kitchen counter. The recipes are flexible, not too scripted, and allow for individual creativity.

    Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this honest review.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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