Amanda Rohwedder

Be Fed: Celebrating Easter with Temple and Table

Q: As the founder of Temple and Table, we would love to know how you celebrate the Easter season. How do you cultivate community through food?

A: My answer may be obvious, but I definitely love celebrating with food! Shared meals with friends and family create a beautiful backdrop for meaningful conversation and memories. Food is a connector. God could have chosen anything to provide us spiritual nourishment and He chose food and the meal. In fact, the meal is woven throughout our entire salvation history. Most notably we see Jesus, before His passion, take time to commemorate the Passover meal and break bread with His disciples at the Last Supper.

Therefore, let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. [1 Corinthians 5:8]

As Christians we actually have a responsibility to create a kind of reverence surrounding mealtime. Eating fresh, seasonal foods shows respect for the gift of our physical bodies. This also respects the earth and seasonality of God’s creation. Let us also invite God into our meals, that He might sanctify them, that He might elevate our conversation and give us grateful hearts.

Think back to the last meal that you ate… Did you choose food that would nourish your body? Did you say grace prior to eating? Did you actually taste and savor your bites? Did you interact and converse with the person sitting with you? When we enter into mealtime with intention and purpose, we allow God to permeate this everyday occasion. This provides freedom to no longer focus on what divides us, but relish and celebrate what connects us.

A fun way to begin cultivating community through food is by preparing a meal together. Cooking provides a natural opportunity for teamwork and fosters vulnerability. I have seen this to be fruitful in my own life and also within events offered through Temple and Table. You can start by inviting a small group of new friends to your home, asking each person to contribute ingredients and assist with kitchen prep, or designate a cooking task to each member of your family at dinnertime. Use this quality time to enter into deeper conversation, such as how Lent impacted each person’s spiritual life or what Holy Week tradition is a favorite. The power of sharing a meal lies in its inherent intimacy. 

Salmon Cakes with Avocado Crema (recipe here)

Food brings us together, shapes our memories and fosters conversation. It can even provide a kind of identity for us. Each Sunday, we all gather as a faith community to partake in the summit of our faith, the Eucharist. A meal when Jesus directly enters into our presence and our bodies. God gifted this beautiful sacrament to the Church to unite us with Him. Lest we forget our identity in Christ - we are all honored guests at the table of the Lord.

Easter doesn’t end on Easter Sunday. Christ’s resurrection is not an end, but a beginning. We must share the joy experienced at Easter with each person we encounter, with those in our community. Invite friends into your home and break bread with them. Take the time to sit around the table as a family. We continue celebrating Easter when we enter into everyday acts like mealtime with love and care. We continue celebrating Easter by reverently remembering Christ’s suffering and sacrifice on the cross at each mass. Then we will truly “celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

Amanda's Recommended Recipes to Try this Easter Season:

Amanda is a Degreed Nutritionist, who earned her BSC, Nutritional Science from the University of Florida and her MS Medical Science from the University of South Florida.  Amanda's love of cooking started young, watching Food Network instead of sitcoms after school.

Amanda realized the joy of having her friends over for dinner and the deep connections that could be formed over a home cooked, nutritious meal.  One of her favorite ways to decompress is to jump in the kitchen and experiment with new recipes, often trying to make healthful substitutions to boost nutrients in a dish and always aiming for the most tasty result!  

After moving to Nashville, she met many people within ministry and fell in love with the idea of evangelizing through nutrition.  At the encouragement of a wonderful priest and many friends, Amanda formed Temple and Table as a way to nourish our culture with wholesome food, real conversation and authentic community. Follow her on Instagram!

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