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It’s the last 2018 episode of the Turquoise Table Podcast, and I’m in one of my favorite places: the kitchen! Today I’m whipping up a five-ingredient holiday appetizer, Cranberry Pistachio Gruyère Croutons, and thinking about all the wonderful guests we’ve had on the show this year. I’ve had the incredible opportunity to talk to thought makers, authors, experts and leaders who have had shared important lessons on hospitality and community, and how we can connect with the people in our neighborhoods. So today, we’re going to reflect on the wise words of a few guests we’ve had at the table, and how we can carry the lessons they have given us into the new year. (And don’t worry, I’m sharing that over-the-top delicious crouton recipe with you at the end of the show!)
It’s the last 2018 episode of the Turquoise Table Podcast, and I’m going to do something a little different.
I always say, “The Turquoise Table isn’t the hero of the story—the people are.” Which means you are. You are the heroes of this story. Why? Because you made the decision to build community, to love where you live, literally, to love the people who live closest to you: your neighbors.
You are all so brave. You’ve put a Turquoise Table in your front yard, or your community center, or school library, or farmer’s market or wherever you work. You’ve established a presence. Just by showing up, in the most ordinary places, you are telling your community, “I care. I see you. I want to know you. You belong here.”
It’s been 5 years since I put the Turquoise Table in my front yard, which seems like a really long time. But let me tell you this: we have only just begun.
Friends, I want to close out this incredible year with a message of remembering what we’ve learned in 2018 and encourage you for what is yet to come.
So what we’re going to do today: first of all, like I said, I’m actually in the kitchen. And I’m going to share a recipe with you in a few minutes. But I want to give you a highlight reel of podcast guests we’ve had at the table this year, and how we can carry the lessons they have given us into the new year. I’ve had the incredible opportunity to talk to thought makers, authors, experts and leaders who have had shared important lessons on hospitality and community.
As we talk and reflect, I’m actually going to make a show-stopper recipe, which is hands down my favorite of Christmas 2018: Cranberry Pistachio Gruyère Croutons. You won’t believe how easy and over-the-top delicious these sweet and savory bites are.
Links, Products, and Recipes We Mentioned:
Podcast Episode: “S1:E3 The ‘Interruptible’ Life: Dave Runyon”
Podcast Episode: “S1:E1 People Over Pixels with Mr. Manners, Thomas Farley”
Podcast Episode: “S1:E17 The Ultimate Welcome: Sunday Morning Thoughts for Your Whole Week, with Whitney Bell”
Podcast Episode: “S1:E2 Celebrating the Table with Shauna Niequist”
Video: The Turquoise Table on The TODAY Show!
Recipe: Cranberry Pistachio Gruyère Croutons
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Recipe: Cranberry Pistachio Gruyère Croutons
“Jesus says if you only do one thing, love God with everything you have, and love your neighbors as yourself. I just think that it’s really hard to love people if you don’t actually know their names. . . . This is the thing that you need to be a good neighbor is the courage to lean into mildly awkward conversations. It’s mildly awkward to go over and to admit to somebody that you’ve met three times, but you don’t know their name.”
– Dave Runyon
“The phone is put away if I’m having dinner with friends, it’s not sitting on a table, face down, it’s not sitting face up, it’s away in my bag so I’m not tempted. There, I think especially at the table, you think of how much time and energy goes into getting a group of friends together, aligning schedules, aligning the stars to make sure you can all be there at the same time.”
– Thomas Farley, Mr. Manners
“So a good friend of mine, he has a teenager daughter. One day, they’d had a huge blowout fight. He felt like anytime he tried to lean in to a conversation with her, she just freaked out and got so mad at him, and they could not have a good conversation. He said, “Grab your shoes. We’re going to go for a run.” She’s an athlete so she put her shoes on and they went to a track. . . .
“He knew they needed a physical outlet. He knew that they needed safe boundaries. He knew that they needed to not be face-to-face, that they would need times of silence, that he needed to not talk, that he needed to just as Jan Skaggs would say ‘hold the bucket and let her go.’”
– Whitney Bell
“One of my friends in California, they were a group of friends—and I wish we could do this in Illinois, we can do it about eight weeks a year—but there’s several families that all wanted to spend time together. They started doing Sunday nights at the beach. Every family would bring their own food and their own blankets, so no one’s responsible for feeding everybody. But it was this particular stretch of beach at this time on this day.
“You don’t have to have your house cleaned, you don’t have to think through a menu, but you’re still practicing hospitality because you’re creating a space for people to connect. Wherever that is—inside, outside, over food, not over food—hospitality is about creating and holding space for people to connect.”
– Shauna Niequist
“Think about ways you’ve lived as Front Yard People this year, how you’ve gathered at the Turquoise Table. I encourage you to write down in a journal the encounters where you’ve had the opportunity to show up. Where you taken the time to unplug. How you’ve held the bucket and listened deeply to someone at your table. Celebrate the ways you’ve created space for people to connect.”
– Kristin Schell