Food blogger nudges us toward approachable hospitality

If your goal is to make and keep friends, then forget Pinterest perfection.

That’s the message food blogger Abby Turner relates in her new book, “The Living Table: Recipes and Devotions for Everyday Get Togethers” (DaySpring, April 2021).

“Make your home too party perfect and no one will have you over to their place,” she told me last week, when I called to congratulate her on her book. “If you invite people into an authentic home with the mess of life, you aren’t intimidating.”

Well, heck, then come on over!

In 208 deliciously photographed pages (where the food and its presentation look pretty perfect to me), Turner nudges us all toward approachable hospitality, as she doles out oodles of recipes for life’s big and small occasions from game night to bridal brunch — with a heavy helping of Bible lessons on the side.

"The Living Table: Recipes and Devotions for Everyday Get-Togethers," by food blogger Abby Turner.

What drew me to her book, however, was not the recipes nor the devotionals, but rather the philosophy of the table as the heart of the home. Forget the hearth, the table is where we catch up, crack up, open up, dream up, speak up and eat up.

And it’s where Turner would like more people to gather more often with less stress.