My fondest childhood memories were the weeks spent at my grandmother, Mama Todd’s home in Jackson, Tennessee. Many of these memories were centered around her kitchen table. I was amazed at how many cousins she could fit around that table. I can still remember the smell of her fried chicken and fresh vegetables that were prepared from her garden. Her desserts were always home made and as I inherited her “dessert gene,” I truly appreciated the fact that she always served at least two desserts at our gatherings. Rolls and biscuits that would melt in your mouth were served with her unforgettable pear preserves. She was not the type to tell you often that she loved you. Her showing of affection was through her gift of cooking. And what a gift it was! We were never allowed to eat until she said Grace and that instilled in me the importance of appreciating the bountiful food that was prepared with love for us. I now carry on the tradition of my grandmother by preparing special meals for my family where we share quality time together. This is what inspired me to create Bless This Table with Jaymes. We thought it would add to the treasure of preparing family meals to have the special recipes of celebrities that we admire. It’s a special part of their life that they are sharing with us. As they continue to make memories with these dishes that they prepare for their families, we are given the opportunity to do the same.
One thing for sure in our Foster household was that everyday around the same time we would all sit down together and have dinner at the table. That experience stayed in my soul and now as an adult, I still believe that it’s important to gather all at the dinner table and share the events of the day and what happens to be on your mind. Today, in our hurried lives, this tradition seems to be going by the wayside for various reasons. My hope is that this book of memories of family dining experiences may inspire families to sit together and enjoy each other over a great meal.