Food blogger & cookbook author Bri McKoy wasn’t always a great cook. She didn’t really cook at all until the moment she realized what a gift it was to be able to feed her family and others. Bri discovered the true joy serving others with food and with hospitality. As she moved from food fails into cooking smart, she started her wildly popular food blog: OurSavoryLife.com. Focusing on paleo eating. Far from hardcore about diet, Bri realizes that every now and then you’ve got to have nachos and wings to keep life interesting. Her new book is called Come and Eat was born of a desire to lean into the idea of an everyday table, to pass on the abundance of her life to others, and to serve wherever she can. Whether God calls you to Ecuador or to your own front yard, Bri encourages us to “go get the neighbors,” and break bread together.
Narrator: Desperate for a way to slow down and connect, Kristin Schell put an ordinary picnic table in her front yard, painted it turquoise, that first turquoise table became a meeting place for friends and neighbors, a place to connect, and a symbol of hospitality. Now, Kristin invites you and her special guests to join her here at The Turquoise Table Podcast. Welcome.
Kristin Schell: Hello. Welcome to The Turquoise Table. I’m your host, Kristin Schell. Today our guest is proof that you do not have to be a lifelong cook to welcome people to your table. Bri McKoy, in fact, did not start cooking–she didn’t even learn how to cook until she was the ripe old age of 26. That’s when she got married and basically, when their budget forced her into the kitchen, she thought eating out was a pretty good gig, until they needed to figure out how to make their budget stretch for their foreseeable future. She learned how to cook out of true necessity. In fact, I love this quote from her that says “I could not fathom what Jesus would teach me through my journey into the kitchen, then later to the table.” Today, we are going to find out exactly what she has learned, because her journey has been a big one.
She went from not ever cooking, and not knowing how, to actually being a blogger of a successful cooking website, and an author of the new cookbook Come and Eat. We’re going to talk about her life as a military wife, and how she now brings people to the table not only for good, delicious, wonderful food, but really for life and community there. We’re going to talk about her adventure, and how cooking led them into a paleo and grain free lifestyle. But, we’re also going to share about how sometimes you also just need some chicken wings and beer.
Stay tuned to the very end with our kitchen segment, sponsored by Shipt, because Bri shares a delicious sheet pan recipe with us, so that you can feed your friends and neighbors. Without further ado, I want to welcome Bri McKoy to the table, the author of Come and Eat.
Bri, welcome to the show. It is so wonderful you’re here. I just want to just dive in.
Bri McKoy: Thank you so much for having me, Kristin. It’s such an honor. I love what you do at The Turquoise Table.
Growing Into Cooking
Kristin: You are a kindred spirit. It is just a joy to have you here at this virtual table for now. I love how you express your joy of gathering, and food, and hospitality. I’ve shared just a little bit of your background in the introduction, so people are becoming familiar with you. But, for those who don’t know, will you tell me just a bit about your cooking journey? Because I hear you didn’t even start until you were about 26.
Bri: Correct. Correct. I got married when I was 26. Up until that point, I really had no interest at all in cooking, in learning to cook, which is so interesting because I come from a long line of amazing cooks. My mom cooked all our meals growing up, people loved her food, she brought people to her table. My grandma is an amazing cook. My mom and her sisters owned a bakery. There was a lot of cooking happening in my home growing up. But it never interested me, and my mom never pushed that passion on me. After I got married, probably a few months in, my husband sat down with me and just explained that we can’t eat out every night. I was very shocked by this information. I really was concerned about how we were going to eat.
Those first few months were a little rocky, I served hot dogs way too many times. I burned a lot of meals. I really did not know how to cook. I would open up a cookbook, and still be completely confused why these spices … I would be like “Oh, a teaspoon of salt, maybe I’ll just do three teaspoons.” Nothing made sense to me. I was calling my mom every evening asking her things as basic as “how do you bake bread in the oven? Where do I put butter on it?” Then I put it in the oven. I just didn’t know what I was doing. That was really my introduction into the kitchen. I think probably, maybe six months in, I was entering the kitchen one night for dinner, and I dreaded, I really did dread it. I just, as I was chopping onions, felt the presence of the Lord with me.
I felt His delight in me. It basically awakened me to the fact that I can use this as a time of communion with the Lord, of just prayer and also a realization that I’m able to feed my husband, I’m able to feed our neighbors, I’m able to feed our friends, and that’s a gift. I completely changed my mindset, and from there, we did start having people over. I fell in love with the idea of being able to feed other people. I continued to grow in cooking. Obviously, just ran with it.
“I can use [cooking] as a time of communion with the Lord, of just prayer and also a realization that I’m able to feed my husband, I’m able to feed our neighbors, I’m able to feed our friends, and that’s a gift.” – Bri McKoy
Kristin: Wow. I think, I mean, I love that. Not only because it’s your story, but I love that because I think and maybe you hear this from people all the time–that they’re worried because they don’t know how to cook, or they have this fear of “I’m not a good cook.” How freeing, and how inspiring that you actually dreaded it. I mean, those are strong words. You know, It was not, it wasn’t even something you were like “Well, I’m just okay at it.” It was just not even on your radar. I love that.
Bri: Yes, that is for sure. I always like to lead with that, because I think people look at me now, and they “Oh, you have a food blog, maybe have pretty pictures of your food.” I just have to let them know I am an accidental lover of cooking, I had no idea what I was doing. I burnt so many meals. I still burn meals sometimes. It’s something that’s always a learning process for me.
Kristin: Yeah. Come on, we all still burn. Because we get distracted. I think we should do like, we should come up with a fun hashtag for everyone that like, you know, “Whoops, I burnt that.” I love that you even have a picture of your burnt chicken on your website, which is so, that’s just so honest, and so freeing to me, for sure. I love to cook. I’m going to quote “you” to you, this is one of my favorites things to do, but I love this quote that you say, this is you saying it “I did not wait to figure out cooking before we started feeding people.” Your neighbors, your small group, your husband’s squadron.
The best thing that we can bring to the table is ourselves, why wait until you can master a perfectly roasted chicken? I love that about you. But it’s hard in those very beginning days, that’s brave. Tell me like how you went, you made this leap, and honestly, it was the Lord who wooed you and gave you that confidence. But do you remember the first time before you really became an accomplished home cook, where you invited people over? What got served? What that looked like?
“The best thing that we can bring to the table is ourselves, why wait until you can master a perfectly roasted chicken? “ – Kristin Schell
Bri: Yes, I do. Actually. After Jeremy and I got married, we moved to Florida, because he is in the Air Force, and that’s where we’re stationed. One evening, as I’m in the kitchen, Jeremy called me and said “Hey, there is this guy in my squadron, he’s single, I think he would really love a home cooked meal. Can I bring him over?” I said ‘yes’ mostly because I’m an extrovert, and so I love being around people, but I was quite concerned with his expectation of a home cooked meal and what he would think of my food. But at that point, I really, I really was like “We’re just going to have to go with this.” I served, I think it was some chicken dish. The chicken was completely dried out, mushy vegetables.
He sat down, and we all ate. The way he complimented my food, I literally thought I should maybe apply to be a contestant on Iron Chef. I just was shocked. In that moment I thought “My food must be so amazing.” I don’t think he was paying me lip service, or being like overly kind, I think looking back, I realized it wasn’t the food at all, it was him sitting down at our table. It was us making room for him. I think that that just exemplifies the food that you’re serving. We kept having him to our table, we kept having other single guys to our table, from Jeremy’s squadron. I just learned to be comfortable with the idea that my food isn’t maybe going to be the best food I’m going to serve, but I’m going to bring the best Bri to the table that I can, and trust God to do the rest.
Kristin: Oh, yes, yes, yes. But I love that. It’s so hard, I think, to get over that leap sometimes. I think part of it is because we confuse, or at least I confuse, and maybe you did, or people that you know do, we confuse entertainment and hospitality. I think that entertainment, then that puts the emphasis on the food, and all the accoutrements–such a fancy fun word–you know, that go with it. But hospitality is what you’re describing. I love that the Lord taught you to cook through the lens of hospitality, is what it appears that He’s done with you on your journey.
Hospitality = Love of Strangers
Kristin: Hospitality, as you know, means “love of strangers” in the Greek root. I would love for you to talk about how He’s woven that love of “strangers service” not just through your life at the table, but just in your life in general. How you met your husband Jeremy, how you’ve been a stranger in a foreign land. Give us a couple of those highlights if you will.
Bri: Yes. I met Jeremy. I was born and raised in Colorado, and so was Jeremy. But at the time that we met, he was already stationed in Florida. We had a good friend introduce us over Skype, actually, which I thought was so lame at the time. I was like “This is a joke.” But after we talked a little bit on Skype, I really, really was very intrigued by him, and he was intrigued by me. So we started emailing back and forth. Then, he actually deployed a month after we met. He did end up flying out to Colorado. I got to meet him in person. Then he was off on his deployment. We just continue to write. He came back, and proposed, and we got married. From that point, my life has been an introduction to strangers, because I was born and raised in Colorado Springs, I knew our neighbors, I knew everyone. I grew up with everyone in our community.
When I got married into the military, it was just crash course in how to be exactly where God has you at every step of the way. We moved to Florida. We jumped in the community like it was our lifeline. I remember when we went to church that first time, we walked straight up to a stranger, and said “We want to be in a small group, please direct us. We just got married, we desperately think we probably need some help along the way.” This man said “My wife and I are leading a small group, how about you be in our small group?” That started two and a half years of one of the most beautiful communities we’ve ever been part of.
I think what God has taught me with every move is I had this mentality for a little bit of “I’m the new person, you come introduce yourself to me, you come invite me into your home, you come bring me a meal to invite me into the neighborhood.” But, I realized very quickly that I don’t like that mentality, I can move into a house and the very next day go to my neighbor’s house and invite them over to dinner. I don’t have to wait for that invitation. I think that’s the true love of a stranger, is when you realize God has placed you somewhere, and it is for a reason, and you do not have to wait.
I think sometimes I would think “Oh, this is a hard season. Maybe I’m just going to stay in my house for a little bit.” Or “I’m feeling like I want other people to bring me in, because I’m the new person.” God just completely changed that for me, and let me know that I can be at home wherever I am. Yes, I’m surrounded by strangers a lot of the time, because of being a military wife, but they are images of God, therefore that makes them family.
Kristin: Wow, I love that. I love the permission that you are giving, because you lived it, and you still live it, of don’t wait. Don’t wait for that invitation. I think sometimes we can get our feelings hurt, and we can spend a lot of time waiting for the perfect invitation, when hospitality takes two people to come to the table, both a guest and a host. We’re called to be both. I think that that goes back into the difference in entertainment and hospitality is that entertainment really the two are separate. There is a guest in their role, and there is an entertainer, or a hostess in her role. But in hospitality, we’re called to be both. Jesus modeled that. He was both guest and host. That’s what you’ve done. I love that the message there is don’t wait.
Yes, it’s hard, it’s a little awkward, it takes some courage to be the guest, and sort of knock on a door, and say “I’m here, and I’d love to get to know you.” Or whatnot. But, I love that that’s the approach you’ve taken, and look what it has done. Your life has … it’s been so full ever since this.
Our Savory Life
I mean, so now okay, let’s have a little whiplash, and flash forward, because you’re an accidental cook, you dread being in the kitchen, now you’re loving strangers, you have this incredible food blog called Our Savory Life. You have this new book out, that teaches and encourages others to come to the table and eat. Okay, there’s a little bit in-between those, tell us about Our Savory Life and paleo, because that, let’s be honest, that’s another kind of strange, or stranger…
For those people who aren’t familiar with paleo, it can sound a little daunting or strange. My husband and I understand it, and we actually like it, but tell us a little bit about that notion of the journey to the table.
Bri: Yes. Probably about a year into me learning to cook, I was cooking a lot of really rich food, that’s my background from my family, fried chicken, gravies, and things like that. I remember one night my husband just said “Because I’m in the military, I have to take physical training test.” I was like “Okay.” I was like “What about it?”
Kristin: Right, what is happening?
Bri: Yeah. I was like “I learned to cook for you. What do you want?” He said “Maybe we can learn together to cook a little healthier.” I was up for the challenge. We were actually part of a gym that was starting a paleo challenge within a few weeks, and we decided “Okay, let’s sign up with them.” We signed up and we learned a lot about paleo. It was a 30-day challenge, and I’m just going to be so honest, Kristin, 14 days in I had Jeremy drive me to our local little pub, and I ordered like two buckets of wings and a beer. I was like “I cannot do this for 30 days. What is happening?”
Kristin: You had to have an intermission, you know?
Bri: I know. I was like –wait, stop. I was like, I just was not having it. But, I jumped back on the train the next day, and had to, oh gosh, it was not fun telling my gym. Some people would come forward and be like “I ate it, I ate a square of chocolate.” I was like “I had like 30 wings and a pint of beer.” But we jumped back on, and through cooking paleo, we did realize just the health benefits of clarity of mind, and we felt better in our bodies, and more energy. We decided that we do really like eating paleo, and cooking paleo. We loved it also because there were people in our community that had dietary restrictions, so it was nice to be able to have them over, and not have them worry about what was in the food. We saw the benefit in that.
I just fell in love with it. Around that time that I fell in love with paleo, is when I started my food blog. The reason I started my food blog is because I love writing. I’ve always loved writing. People were asking me for my recipes, the paleo recipes a lot. I was like “I’ll just start a little blog.” I started the blog. Full disclosure, we still really love paleo, but we are not 100% paleo by any means. I cook a lot of paleo, and a lot of my recipes that I share are paleo. But when we are out to eat, or when we go over to other people’s homes, or when we’re vacationing, we throw all of that out of the window, and we eat whatever we want. We found the balance that works for us.
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Mostly Paleo, Some Beer & Wings
Kristin: Because you always have to default to wings and beer.
Bri: Yes. There should be wings and beer at some point in life.
Kristin: See, for us, in Texas, that’s our chips and queso.
Bri: And margaritas.
Kristin: I love the concept of paleo, and Tony and I, in a perfect world, would kind of follow the 80-20 rule, 80% of the time, because 20% of the time we have to have chips and queso, or it is just like, we’re just not nice people.
Bri: I love that.
Kristin: Oh, my goodness.
Bri: That’s so true.
Kristin: Your recipes are wonderful. I think you bring up such an incredible point too. I hear this a lot from people, is that with all of the different dietary needs, and allergies, and food, just preferences, it’s hard sometimes. That shouldn’t though be a hindrance to inviting people to the table. But sometimes, and I hear from women, I’m sure you do too, they’re like “Oh my goodness, how do I cook a gluten free, vegan, paleo, southern home cooked meal?”
Come & Eat Cookbook
Kristin: I don’t really have an answer for that, except several different options. But I love that you have such a great, you’re such an incredible resource though for experimenting, and trying the simplicity of a new way to cook. Maybe it becomes a lifestyle, and maybe it doesn’t. But, it’s just such a welcoming way to approach food. I love that about your blog, and about your book, which we haven’t even talked about yet. Tell us how Come and Eat came to be, your new book.
Bri: That was a part of me being … I worked with Compassion International for a while, I traveled the world with them, to developing countries, that grew my heart for hospitality even more, especially this idea of loving the stranger. We talk about going to a developing country, you can’t speak their language, you’re barely understanding their culture. Just being able to show the love of Christ to them by sitting down and breaking bread with them, and accepting the food that they’ve prepared for you. My heart just continue to grow. God gave me so many amazing stories through my travels as a military wife, and in my travels with Compassion International. I started sharing more of those on my blog.
“…to show the love of Christ to them by sitting down and breaking bread with them, and accepting the food that they’ve prepared for you.” – Bri McKoy
Then, I had an agent reach out to me, and we pitched this proposal of the book that is now Come and Eat, which is really about coming to our tables. I call them our everyday tables. Because I think it’s, at least for me, I know there are times where I do still struggle of thinking of my table as a special occasion table. We bring people when there’s a celebration, or we bring people when we’re making a big to do about things. But I really wanted to lean into this idea of it’s an everyday table, we have people to our table every day in all seasons of our lives. Really, the heartbeat of it for me was sharing how Jesus did ministry on this life, and that he was constantly at a table surrounded by people, breaking bread with them. Through that, you’re able to experience his compassion, and his forgiveness, and his mercy, and the grandeur of God.
I really wanted to share like we can do that, we can share those aspects of Jesus to people in our lives at our everyday tables. Thus was Come and Eat.
Go Get the Neighbors
Kristin: Oh my goodness. We can do all of that over wings and beer, or chips and queso and margaritas, or something fabulous from your book. I love that. I think that, again, I’m so fascinated because from just where I’m viewing your journey, it is so beautiful to see how God has taken you on this whimsical adventure to be the stranger, and to receive hospitality so that now you can give it. Tell us the story … is there a meal that you experienced that just stands out when you were on one of your international travels with Compassion? Tell us a time when you were at the table abroad, where you really were the guest and the stranger.
Bri: There are so many. There are so many. I think the one that has stuck with me the most is a story from my time in Ecuador. We were visiting a family that lived in a rural area on this particular day, and we knew that in the home was a single mom who had been abandoned by the dad and three children. We had actually visited her earlier that day, and it was really hard to see what her everyday life looks like. We went and milked her cow, and barely was able to get any milk from the cow. Then, the only crop that she could grow in that area was onions. For meals, a lot of the times, she served what she called onion soup, and it was just that little bit of milk, and those onions.
She talked with tears in her eyes, just how hungry her kids are, and how it pains her to not be able to feed her family, and just how hard life has been since her husband had abandoned them. I was so excited to return, because I knew we were bringing food. Compassion had orchestrated this really lovely meal, and we were going to sit down at their table with them, they had a little rickety picnic table right outside their house.
Kristin: Oh my gosh, I have to interrupt, just real quick–a rickety picnic table in Ecuador.
Kristin: I’m sorry. That just makes my heart leap.
Bri: I know. I know. I all about just pulled out some turquoise paint right there.
Kristin: I’m sorry.
Bri: It was so wonderful. As we were bagging up the food, I just looked at our bounty, and we had mounds of corn, and delicious, juicy, flavorful chicken, and rice, and bread. I thought “Oh, my goodness, this family is going to feast tonight. Like I cannot wait. Not only are they going to feast, but they’ll probably have leftovers for the next day.” As we were driving up the little dirt hill, I noticed on–near her picnic table–that I saw her family, but then I saw a lot of other people. I got very concerned, because we only had food for her family and for us. I wasn’t quite sure what was happening, and our trip leader also was very concerned. We got out of the truck and we immediately went to her with our translator before bringing the food out, because we didn’t know like … maybe she’s about to send them away, or what. We were trying to figure out what was happening before presenting the food.
The translator asks her “Where all these people come from? They weren’t here earlier today.” She said “You told me you’re coming back with a meal, so I went and got the neighbors.” Oh my gosh. All of us just like tears. She said “If it’s hard for me, it’s hard for them too. If I can’t feed my kids, they can’t feed their kids either.” We quickly regrouped, because we were like “We can’t send them away now.” We just prayed over the food and I was so sad, because I just thought this was going to be a feast for her and her family, and now I just don’t see how we’re even going to be able to give a full plate to any of these people. It’s all going to be very tiny portions. We put all the food out in the table, we prayed over it, and we started, we were like cutting the corn off the cob to make it more, and we were cutting the chicken into pieces to make more. Everything, we were dividing everything up to make it more.
People started coming to the line, and we were giving them full plates. We basically said “Let’s just dish out full plates until we don’t have any more food.” All of a sudden we looked up, and we had fed everybody, and there were still leftovers.
I was shocked. Everybody could not understand how we went from having a good meal for maybe eight people to now we had fed 20 people with full plates of food, and we have leftovers.
Kristin: I mean of course, it’s a miracle. We shouldn’t be surprised, but when it happens, it’s like the abundance is just all staggering.
Bri: Yes. Yes. It was just so amazing, and that has stuck for me forever. Her phrase of you know “Go get the neighbors.” I think about that all the time. When I’m having a long day of work, and then I’m tired, and I’m exhausted. I go in and I’m cooking my meal, I think “Should I get the neighbors. I don’t know.” Then I realized, if I’m tired and exhausted, they’re tired and exhausted. If I’m not even wanting to cook a meal, they probably aren’t wanting to cook a meal either. Just the idea of community, where she did not put her needs above the neighbors’, even though if she would have, we would’ve all understood, we would’ve all been like “We get it, you need to feed your kids.”
That was something that was so special. It just showed that Jesus can surpass cultural norms, languages, any kind of boundaries, and he will bring abundance.
“Jesus can surpass cultural norms, languages, any kind of boundaries, and He will bring abundance.” – Bri McKoy
Kristin: Amen. I think … but then back home too. I love that either because we’re not all going to go to Ecuador, that’s where in my life I kind of thought I would. I thought I would go far and wide. I thought I’d be on mission around the world. Never in 1 million years did I think that God would call me literally into the front yard. It doesn’t matter if we’re in Ecuador, or if we’re in California, or if we’re in Texas, or Canada. It doesn’t matter, go get the neighbors.
Food Brings the People, Love Makes the Table
Kristin: Go get the neighbors, because that abundance, whether it is corn, and chopped up chicken, or your fabulous nachos, which we’re going to talk about in a minute, or whatever it is, just … you’re right, we’re all tired, we’re all hungry, and we’re all longing to be together at the table. What do you think it is, Bri, that keeps people at the table. Because we bring them there for the food, it’s the most natural thing to do, but what can we do to encourage and keep people lingering at that table, because that’s what they want, right?
Bri: Yes. Yes. I think, for sure, the invitation, the food is what is going to bring people to the table. But as Jeremy and I’ve brought people to the table, we’ve noticed “Wow, there’s this lingering.” We have a story of a bible study that we hosted, and it was a sad, it was not a great … we invited a lot of people to our bible study, and only two people came to the bible study for that semester. So there-
Kristin: Wait, this is huge. Because this is another fear that I hear women and men saying all the time, it’s like “What if no one comes?” Two people is not no one. Small is perfect in many, many ways. Okay. Two people, I love that.
Kristin: Finish up the story. I’m the biggest interrupter, sorry.
Bri: No, I love that, we are like so on the same page. In the beginning, I was discouraged, and I thought “Is it my home? Is it Jeremy and me? Are we weird some way, like people don’t want to hang out with us?” As I prayed about it, I just was very encouraged by God and believe that you said “Be faithful with the small.” I thought “If I can love these people well, these two people well, and give them all of me, then think of what God could do in the future if I have five people in my home, I have six people in my home. But right now God is giving me two people in my home, and I’m going to love them as if we were throwing grand old party.”
We were meeting, and we were not having a meal. We were not leading the study, there was someone else leading the study, it was just happening in our home. Jeremy and I were really discouraged, because over the three months that we had met, we really didn’t know much about each other, we weren’t opening up to each other at all. We just kind of discussed the study, and then ended things. Jeremy and I decided something radical had to change, we decided we wanted to start serving a meal to these two, they were two men, and I reached out to the leader, and just said “Hey, can we change the format a little bit? I’d love if we could serve a meal to you guys while you do the study. You don’t have to bring anything, we will provide everything.” He was like “Yeah, let’s do it.”
That first night at the table, we found out that one of the guys is going through a very, very awful divorce. We found out the other guy’s wife was going through her fourth miscarriage, and that’s why she wasn’t coming to the study. We have been meeting for three months, and we had no idea that they were going through this. It had never come up, it had never been discussed. I really believe that there is something when you feed someone a meal, they will open their heart to you. I think that the spoon is the most un-widely recognized microphone. Give someone a spoon, and they will open their mouth, and they will share their story, they will share their heart. I think food can be the gateway to that, and then it all unfolds.
That’s why we’re such believers in, when we bring people into our home, we want to feed them, we don’t care if it’s like string cheese and crackers. But there is something holy that happens when you give someone a meal. I think Jesus modeled that for us.
“There is something holy that happens when you give someone a meal. I think Jesus modeled that for us.” – Bri McKoy
Kristin: Oh yes. I love that. I love that He modeled it again at your table, right there for you. It was like there was an impasse, there was something, and then whatever that meal was, just broke down those barriers and gave them the comfort to share, which is what has to happen before you can even really venture into a bible study. That’s too soon sometimes. That is beautiful. I love that.
Cooking, Conversation & Community
Kristin: I want to hear, I want you to walk us through the format of the book a little bit, because it is full of wisdom, with the recipes, of your experiences, and it really gives practical tips on how to help others gather like this, or at last encourage them, their imagination to figure out what will work where they live. Tell us a little bit about the book.
Bri: Yes. So, the way that I formatted the book, I first broke it into chapters, which show or represent a characteristic or an aspect of Jesus, and how he did ministry at the table. There are chapters like celebrations on the table, brokenness at the table, grace at the table, forgiveness at the table, hospitality at the table. I share my own personal stories from travel with Compassion, or just living in Florida, in South Carolina, as a young wife and a growing wife. I share those stories to show “This is how we can bring compassion to the table. This is how we can embrace brokenness at the table.” And things like that.
Then, at the end of each chapter, I give a recipe, and I also give a prayer for the table, then questions for the table. At the end of the book, is what I call a 21-day adventure. This is something that actually Jeremy and I did before I even had an idea of a book in my head. We had realized maybe about eight or nine months into marriage, if we weren’t bringing people to our table, we were basically eating in front of the TV, then going to bed. We felt like we came to a breaking point where we were like “We’re not communicating with each other. We’ve become really amazing roommates. I don’t think we’re really lovers.” We just were working, and our jobs were so demanding, then at the end of the day we didn’t have anything left to give each other.
We both really needed to, we wanted to break that cycle, but we didn’t know how to. Jeremy said “That time that we have is in the evening, what if instead of turning on the TV we started coming to the table. Let’s do it for 21 days. Let’s come to the table.” We did that. It completely … you know when you look back on your marriage, or your life, and there’s those benchmarks where you’re like “That changed everything for us?”
Bri: Yes. That changed everything. We relearned each other, we learned better how to communicate with each other. To be honest, those first few days were kind of awkward, because we were just like “Oh, what did you do for work today?” You know, like “I’m too tired, I don’t want to talk about it.” We decided to get really creative and I share that in the 21-day adventure of how to get creative with your meals. We bought those question cards, like TableTopics, I think it is. We bought those, because we were too tired to even think of good questions to ask. We bought those, we went through, we both really wanted to learn more about food pairing, so we bought a food pairing book. We went through that at our time at the table. We just got really, really creative.
It made us want to come to the table. It also was so healing for our marriage. I put everything that I needed to get to the table, I put all of that in the book. Questions, recipes, little adventures to do, and also like the main purpose of why we’re even doing this, which is to show more of Jesus love to the world right where he has us.
Kristin: It is wonderful. It has been such a treasure for me to have and to hold, and to share. It’s a joy. I hope people will be encouraged to do that challenge. I mean, how fun, how fun and all the different iterations that it can take. What is it they say? 21 days to break a habit, is that it? I just think if anybody is looking for just sort of a jump start, or perhaps just thinking about “How can I meet others, or just change the habits that we have?” I just think it’s just get it, get it, get it now. There’s a big takeaway, which you know I love, with all of your heart. But I just … do this 21-day, and then go get the neighbors. That to me is, I love that. Go get the neighbors. I will always remember of the story of this sweet single mom and her family in Ecuador. Thank you for sharing that with us.
Where can people find you? Give us your Savory blog website, and all the places you like to hang out, because I know people are going to want to be your friend–in life now too.
Bri: Thank you so much, Kristin, I really loved sharing those stories. I just am so grateful for you. My recipes, I do new recipes weekly, and that’s at my blog OurSavoryLife.com. Then, I share a lot of table stories on my Instagram @brimckoy B-R-I-M-C-K-O-Y. Yeah, my burnt meals or the many times I locked myself out of the house right before we were having guests over, and all of the mess that comes with bringing people to our table.
Kristin: I love that. You talk about inviting people into your messy, beautiful, real life. You do that online, as well as in real life. Thank you for that invitation to join you, and to be with you on social media, since we can’t all be at your table, even though we would love to be. I’ll have all of these links in the show notes, so people can find you. But thank you, thank you for your time, thank you for the way you are so generously, and abundantly sharing your life, so that we’re encouraged to go and do likewise.
Bri: Thank you so much, Kristin, I really appreciate it.
Kristin: Talk to you soon.
Kristin’s Kitchen: Featuring Bri’s Pan Nachos
Narrator: Welcome to Kristin’s Kitchen, sponsored by Shipt.
Kristin: Okay, now I’m in my kitchen. I am standing at my kitchen counter just in awe of all the morsels, and tidbits, and wise affirmations, and encouragements that Bri shared with us. There are just so many takeaways. My biggest takeaway is the story she told when she was in Ecuador and go get the neighbors. To me that is like the best mantra of all. Bri also, generously, shared one of her favorite recipes, just for us. I’m going to walk you all through what she calls her fancy, not-fussy, vegetarian grain-free sheet pan nachos. I know what you’re thinking. At least I know what I was thinking. I’m in Texas, and Tex-Mex is our love language. I was thinking “Well, vegetarian grain-free nachos, maybe not.” But you all, we made these, and they’re so good. They are not your mama’s nachos, they’re go-get-the-neighbor nachos good.
Here’s what we’re going to do. The good news is, is that you just put them on a sheet pan, it’ll feed a crown. If you do one sheet pan, you can do two sheet pan. But I think they’re just easy, easy, easy for everyone. I’m going to try to make some right now as we’re kind of speaking. I still haven’t mastered this whole podcasting and cooking thing, but I’m trying, let me know what you-all think. But what you’re going to get is some refried beans, a bag of grain-free tortilla chips. I have used the Siete brand, or Siete, I don’t even know how to say it. They’re from Austin, this brand is. Anyway, we’ll put it all in the notes. You can also use … Beanitos has a great brand that we love, you know what? You can use your plain, old, regular tortilla chips.
Here’s where they get a little fancy, not fussy. Bri also recommends adding bell pepper, red onion, of course you got to have some cheddar cheese, but she puts crumbled goat cheese on it and you-all, it is so good. These are nachos with a twist. Then, for the toppings, some of the regular players she recommends, like avocado, sour cream, cilantro, hot sauce, fresh limes, here’s what I love, I love pickled red onions, and pickled garlic. I’ve had a few times in restaurants when we’ve ordered nachos, but I have never done that myself. I’m telling you what, get creative with the toppings, and make your nachos fancy, but not fussy.
You-all, go get the neighbors. The weather is turning perfect everywhere, even to our friends in the north, I’m getting reports that the sun is finally out. We are now into May, and it’s time, it’s time to live out front and go get the neighbors, and treat them for a spontaneous time out at your Turquoise table with Bri’s fabulous sheet pan nachos.
These will be in the show notes, you can get the full recipe there. You can, with links to her blog as well. Then, let me know what you think. I would love it if you would leave a review on Apple iTunes, you can just go to the website, which is TheTurquoiseTable.com\podcast. Then it’ll give you a link over to iTunes, or wherever you’re listening. Reviews really help, they help as the podcast is getting started, it helps to let other people just like us know about the podcast, and hopefully they’ll be encourage too. Leave a review, subscribe if you already haven’t, tell your friends, and then shoot me a note back, my email will be at the bottom of the show notes, and I love your feedback. What do you love? What do you want to hear more of? Because this podcast is really for, it’s for our front yard people community.
Thanks for being here again today, we will see you very soon. Until then, gather small, and love deep, friends.
Narrator: That’s it for today’s show. Thanks for listening. You’ll find a complete transcript of this episode at TheTurquoiseTable.com/podcast. Also, be sure to subscribe to The Turquoise Table Podcast on iTunes and leave us a review. Until next time, gather small and love deep.