Bread & Wine

I asked my friends Blaine Hogan and Bjorn Amundsen to help me create a set of videos to tell the story of Bread & Wine. I gave them early manuscripts and a few very vague thoughts, and then really early one morning Monday in January, when it was so cold it made our bones rattle, they came over with cameras and lights and what seemed like a million feet of cable, snaking around and around our house.

My cousin Amanda came over to help with the food prep, my friend Ashley did my hair and makeup, and a friend of Blaine’s named Josh solved any number of technical challenges, the three of them speaking a language I don’t understand at all—volts and speeds and lenses. Blaine asked me before the shoot what I thought I’d wear and I told him I’d be in jeans and one of about fifty navy-and-white striped shirts. Some things never change.

We shot all day—I made several recipes from the book: Green Well Salad, Nigella’s Flourless Brownies, Sullivan Street Bread, Steak au Poivre with Cognac Pan Sauce. And while I measured and chopped and stirred, Blaine asked me a million questions—about food, about love, about the kitchen, about the table, about why I love to cook and what I hope people feel when they read Bread & Wine.

In the next several weeks, we’ll post a new video every week, four in total. I’m thrilled with them, and I’m so thankful to work with creative, deeply gifted, imaginative people who I love to spend time with—no small thing.


Into the Mess

Because that’s what we’re really talking about, right? When we talk about why we don’t invite people over for dinner, or why we’re afraid to open our doors and gather people around our tables? We’re afraid that when they see our mess, they won’t love us anymore. Everyone’s mess is different, but everyone has a mess.

Maybe people will see that your marriage is in a rough and prickly season. Or that all is not well with your kids. Maybe people will see  that your financial life is strained to the point of breaking, or that you really have no idea how to cook because your family growing up didn’t gather for meals, and maybe that makes you feel self-conscious. Maybe when you look around the house all you see are the things that are undone, mismatched, chipped and worse for wear. I get it. There have been seasons when I’ve felt like our mess is more than I can manage inviting people into.

But this is the deal: the only way through is courage, vulnerability, connection. If you decide to keep your front door closed to keep people from seeing your mess, you’ll end up isolated behind those doors, and that privacy you think you so desperately need will become a prison of its own. People will never see the mess, but they’ll never see the beauty, either—the beauty of being known, seen, accepted, loved.

So Bread & Wine is about food, but more than that it’s about connection—the connections that are made when we screw up our courage and walk away from our fears, when we open the doors to our homes and our hearts and gather people around our tables.


Cooking Club

When Blaine and Bjorn and I began talking about this set of videos that would invite people into the stories and the soul of Bread & Wine, it was obvious that the Cooking Club would be a part of it, because they’re so much a part of my life, such a central part of the life that takes place around our table. It would be so odd to create a set of videos, one after another, of me alone in my kitchen, because that’s not how I live.
My prayer for you is that you take the risk to gather up what could become your tribe, that you’ll put in the minutes, the days, the texts, the visits, the phone calls, the hours around the table. And then along the way you’ll find that time and love has knit you together, has created something much greater than the sum of its parts, much more significant than a group of individuals who like to cook or run or make music or whatever you do when you’re together. My hope is that when you gather to do whatever you do, you find yourself shaped and transformed along the way, very much like we have been.


The Work of the People

My friend Travis is a brilliant and gutsy filmmaker, and I’m honored that he shot these videos. I love what The Work of the People is all about, and I loved being a part of this.



That Kind of Love

Live in Amazement

Resurrected Identity


Click here to watch four more of Shauna’s videos at The Work of the People dot com.



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