The table is set. Invitations are out. Flowers are in place. Heart is ready.
Tonight is the first of what I hope will be many dinners of women who I know and love and want to know better. The movement is called If and all started with a simple gesture to open up your home, no matter what your home may look like, and break bread with women and get to know them on a deeper level. My favorite author who I love and adore and am best friends with (though she secretly doesn't know) posted about this movement a few weeks back and after reading the article my brain went into overdrive. Who do I invite first? What on earth do I make? How soon can I do this? The movement is based off of Acts 4:26 where it states that "They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts."
I sent my first group of women an email promising that this was not a secret plea to get them to my house to sell them Tupperware or necklaces but an honest invitation to a simple meal around a simple table to share a bit of my heart and home. I know each of these women from different areas of life, all stemming from church and our creator. If we didn't have Him in common then we might not have ever known each other. I am overwhelmed with God's goodness and allowing me to be blessed by so many that it was difficult to narrow down this first attendee list. But, alas, they will be here soon.
So, if you know me you know my mind went straight to the food. The If gals say to keep it simple and non-fussy so that is exactly what I have done. I have prepared a couple of favorites, things like Spinach Enchiladas and homemade corn salsa but I was totally stumped when it came to dessert. I know that may sound silly but the possibilities are limitless and I didn't know where to begin. So, let me begin.
I went into college not knowing A soul! No not one. I quickly connected with a loud bombshell blond from "You-ston" (Houston), another brown haired blue eyed Dallas gal with an amazing sense of humor and my two suit-mates who also shared Texas roots. We were instantly connected. One of the girls became friends with one of the guys on campus and a few weeks into school he invited all of us to his home outside of Memphis. We were all so excited about our first trip to a real home we didn't know what to do. I remember driving to the boonies and arriving with a nervous anticipation about trying to stay on my best behavior. Their beautiful home was the epitome of what a Southern mom's house should feel like; comfy, cozy, kinda messy, surrounded by a beautiful farm land with the smell of chocolate, laundry soap and sweet tea lingering in the air. We all instantly felt at home. She fed us plate after plate of scratch made food while we each took rounds doing laundry and jumping in the pool. We sat around the table and made so many memories. Later that night she brought out a pan of homemade rice krispy treats and a big pot of chocolate gravy. I thought my eye balls might pop out of my head and that I had heard her wrong. Let me repeat, chocolate gravy. Oh. My. Goodness. We dipped and dunked everything we could get our hands on from the krispy treats and leftover fried chicken to the homemade biscuits at breakfast and crispy bacon strips. Although I never did go back to Rob's parents I will always remember that sensation of feeling right at home in a home so far away from my own. I will always remember how the sun set across that soy bean field and how we all felt a sense of peace on the rocking chairs sharing our feelings of loneliness and anxiousness about this new adventure.It is the way I want my home to feel as well. I am forever grateful to that sweet mom for allowing a bunch of rowdy kids to come in and mess up her home for the weekend and show the love of Jesus to all of us. May all who come through my doors feel that this is where they belong. May the Salesman and I allow others to see that this life is lived messy and wild and to the glory of our Maker. For more information go to www.ifgathering.com.
Drum roll please.....
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/4 Cup + 1 Tbsp. Flour
3/4 c milk
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp vanilla
Combine all ingredients in a heavy duty saucepan. With the temperature on medium heat, stir the ingredients together until combined. Allow mixture to slightly simmer, but not boil, until sugar has dissolved. Continue to stir so your gravy doesn't clump then turn the heat to low until ready to use. Gently reheat mixture when ready to serve. Perfect with ice cream, to use as cake frosting, dunk a strawberry in or drink with a straw. I paired the gravy with some homemade shortcakes with fresh berries and orange scented cream.