Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday at the Table

On Saturday, I was a tad obsessed. With this.
photo courtesy of babiesrus.com
In the back of my mind, I was thinking about my first table post {here}, the fact that someone special would definitely be missed at our family table that night, and that it was high time that the newest family member properly join us. The fact that son was home for the weekend from the midwest, and mom was soon to be heading out on a cross-country trip herself . . . well it was the perfect time (in my mind) to have precious one up and come to the table.

So hubby and I had gone out the day before and bought a high chair. The plan was set; hubby put the chair together and set it up against the dining room table. My heart was happy.

Except that 10 minutes before the call to dinner, precious one fell asleep. sigh. Thankfully, on this occasion anyway, she's a short napper, and was soon ready to join us mid-meal. To me, the whole essence of the table was right there in plain sight. Seven of us joined by blood and love, gathered around the table for a too-brief time, but cherished nonetheless. It really didn't matter to me, foodie that I am, that the sausages had been over-flamed, and the cheesy bread was kind of weird. That moment in time, few and far between these days, fed me in a fundamental way.

Unfortunately, none of the 'new' recipes we tried that night are worth sharing. And I really do want to share something with you. So how about a recipe we enjoyed with friends the week before? It's one of my favorite apps, easy and best done ahead, full of flavor, a tad unusual. The best kind!

Marinated Feta and Olives
adapted from Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes by Jeanne Kelley; also see her website Jeanne Kelley Kitchen

1 Tb. cumin seeds
2 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. grated orange
1 1/2 to 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups (about 10 oz.) mixed Greek olives, rinsed & drained
8 oz. feta cheese, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/2 cup total mixed minced fresh basil, oregano, and parsley

Place seeds and pepper flakes in a small pan over medium-high heat. Shake gently until spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and add garlic, zest, and 1 1/2 cups olive oil; stir to combine. Mix in olives. Gently stir in feta. If needed, add additional oil to cover the olives and cheese. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 week. When ready to serve, bring to room temp and stir in herbs. Serve with toothpicks alongside.
If you are fortunate enough to have a Trader Joes nearby, they have a great Greek olive medley, as well as a chunk of Greek feta that comes in water.


  1. Those days really are the best, aren't they? My family is scattered across the country so we only get together once or twice a year, but when we do it is fabulous! Sorry none of your new recipes was a prize-winner, I had one of those myself last night. The olives sound great though! My mom made some marinated olives a few years ago that I loved but I haven't gotten the recipe yet. I'll have to try these. Sadly, we have no TJs, but I'll see what they've got at Kroger...

  2. Debbie, I read this on Tuesday and have been meaning to get back to comment as I thought this post was one of your best - which is difficult to say because you always have great posts. I so understand how the sharing of food with family - especially when they are all there, can feed your soul. Guess what is on my Trader Joe's shopping list? :)

  3. I'll definitely be trying this recipe, sounds delish! So nice that you were able to share the table with your little one, so sweet! I guess I'll be pulling out our high chair before I know it too!

  4. Hi Deb :o) Okay, it took me a week to be able to let you know how much I enjoyed this Table post, too ;o) For some reason if I'm using my phone I cannot leave comments if the blog has Pop-up commenting. Anyway, my family has about the opposite experience of yours...I remember the very first time our son (the sole grandchild) sat at the family table in his high chair. What a great time that was. Then, sadly, last year we lost my father-in-law. We've had a few holiday dinners since then, but they don't seem the same at all...
    On a happy note, I think I'm going to try this Marinated Feta and Olives recipe. At my local quilt guild we all bring an appetizer to share and this looks like a good one to try :o) Thanks!