Fall Porchetta

While working on Effortless Entertaining, my graphic designer and my editor kindly observed that there were “no people of color” shown sitting around my table. I responded that I had noticed that, too. While Ed and I have experienced great diversity in our community work and in the schools our children attended, we have not enjoyed that as deeply or as meaningfully in our home. Our personal lives have been pretty monochromatic.

I told Christine and Lisa that I shared their concern, but that it didn’t feel right to manufacture something. A few months after the book was released, I attended a women’s dinner at our church. The speaker, Sonja Nichols, was dynamic, and her message was compelling. The thread that ran through Sonja’s talk was the Old Testament story of Ruth and Naomi – the devotion of Naomi to Ruth and her commitment that Ruth’s people would be her people. Sonja, a black woman, asked the room full of white women if anyone had a Ruth-and-Naomi story of their own. I raised my hand and explained that I didn’t have such a story, but wondered if we could write one together. I talked about my book and how it revealed what had been missing in our lives.

Following that evening, Sonja and I got together for coffee, then lunch, and started getting to know each other. We joyfully discovered how much we had in common. This October we, along with our husbands, Ed and Richard, hosted a dinner bringing together friends. We called our dinner Making Your People My People. In this issue, we want to share the menu from that special evening with you. Most of all, we want to share the spirit of genuine friendship that made it possible and that continues today.

I hope this issue will inspire you to think beyond your norms, to write new stories in your home and around your table.

With gratitude,


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