The Kinfolk Table
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Recipes for small gathering by Nathan Williams
Food is the toffee-toasted mortar that binds people together, building stronger friendships that, when stacked sky high, create the most special of gatherings.
Bringing together recipes, people and stories from around the world, we hope it’ll encourage you to clink china with those around you and form new traditions to sit alongside the old.
Whether it’s a neighborhood potluck, shucking fresh oysters or long days spent dipping lavender tea cakes into home-brewed coffee, the best soirées are based around camaraderie and community. Sometimes it’s finding an unknown patch of dandelion root in your backyard that leads to spontaneous neighborhood brewing sessions, or spending the whole day searching for raspberries with your partner. To make it a complete experience, all you need is a friend or five to share it with. That is the culture of The Kinfolk Table.
The Kinfolk Table shines a culinary light on the creatives of Brooklyn, Copenhagen, Portland, Oregon, and the English countryside, inviting you into the lives and pantries of a diverse array of both enthusiasts and professionals, from coffee connoisseurs to ceramicists, fashion bloggers to florists, photographers to farmers and even an addition from one of our sweet retired grandmothers. These delegates from varying walks of life will provide you with inspiration for gatherings that begin as morning teas, drag into afternoon finger sandwiches and whirl all the way toward midnight pitchers of punch.
Entertaining looks different for each of us, but as long as we’re cooking and inviting people into our homes with a genuine interest in connecting, conversing and eating together, then the way we do these things will ultimately come naturally. A burned dish or a missing serving piece becomes trivial. The humble soup or homely bread becomes a feast. It all seems quite simple.
WHAT IS THE KINFOLK TABLE? One-third cookbook, one-third narrative tale and one-third international adventure, The Kinfolk Tableis a collection of 85 delectable recipes spread over nearly 400 pages from creative types around the world, set to inspire your next small gathering.
WHAT WILL WE FIND INSIDE? Inside the hardcover book,you will find a smattering of recipes from different cultures and backgrounds suitable for any time of day or occasion. Some of the suggestions are refreshingly simple, like throwing freshly plucked mussels on the barbecue or filling half a cantaloupe with yogurt and honey. Others may take a little more time and toe-tapping patience, such as Ginger Ice Cream with Kumquat Compote or perfecting a pot roast shoulder of veal. Danish, Japanese, Mexican and Korean influences make appearances too, as do fresh takes on classics such as Sweet Potato-Quinoa Burgers, Kimchi Couscous or Spiced Raw Chocolate Mousse.
WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE PROJECT? Each Kinfolk Table participant was asked to contribute because he or she lives a life consistent with the simplicity we try to promote in Kinfolk. Some of them are qualified foodsmiths, others just like making a post-hike brunch for their mates, but they all share one talent: a creative approach to their professional lives and an urge to craft a community based around a steaming pot of soup.
HOW DID YOU GATHER THESE STORIES? We traveled to every home featured in the cookbook to speak and eat with the makers. We sat at their tables and asked questions. We scribbled notes with lessons, tips and recipes. We left each of their homes with a big, cheesy grin of satisfaction on our faces and often stopped at the market for ingredients on the way home, empowered to cook each dish ourselves and share it at our own tables.
WHERE DID THE RECIPES COME FROM? The main cities we have chosen to focus on have been Brooklyn, Copenhagen, Kinfolk’s current hometown of Portland, Oregon, and the English countryside. Of course, great food and even greater people extend beyond these borders, so we’ve added a “Wandering Table” section, featuring tales from Salt Lake City to family secrets from founder Nathan Williams’ mother and grandmother back home in Alberta, Canada. In the future we hope to explore other neighborhood nooks and bring you more stories and recipes from the edges of the culinary world.
WHAT MAKES THE KINFOLK TABLE DIFFERENT? Instead of prompting you to purchase a kitchen utensil set the size of a small condo (or a fresh set of friends swanky enough to appreciate it), The Kinfolk Table puts the emphasis back into the relationships that surround eating, rather than the overly fussy details of entertaining. Let the people sharing butter around your dinner table be the foreground and superficial details such as fancy recipes and table decorations recede into the background.