Come to the Table

Some of the questions I get about  my business are “What motivated you to start Julie’s Table?” and “How long have you been doing these classes?”

I started Julie’s Table after I’d taken a job that came with a big pay cut. Someone suggested that I tutor to make extra income which did not appeal but I decided that I could teach cooking classes, and so I began. At first, I was only able to offer one class each month on a Saturday due to work and family obligations. Recently after some unexpected family deaths and while taking stock of “life” in the wake of tragedy, I decided to take Julie’s Table more seriously and see if I could expand the business enough to make it my job. Building my business would enable me to place my focus on my highest priority, my family.

I discovered that I could major in Family Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and I was hooked. I’d found my “thing” and loved every bit of my years in college. A degree in Family Studies did nothing to prepare me to make a living, though, and I continued to work in some family/human-being related business until I hit upon teaching Home Economics, as it was called at the time. Finally, all the things I loved in one package- foods, family, children, relationships, interior design, fashion, etc. Thus began my teaching career in the field of Family Consumer Sciences, something I did and loved for 15 years until I left the classroom last spring.

I give you this background because through it all, it has always been the family for me- my first love. I am passionately committed to the well-being of the family- my own, and others, too. Nothing in the world is as important to me as my family- my relationship with my husband, Kevin, and our children- James, Thomas, and Elizabeth. This is something that Kevin and I found we had in common early on in our relationship and was something that drew me to him- his love and commitment to his family.

The family I came out of was far from perfect, yet they did some things right. One of those things was sitting down and eating together in the evening at a round table. A childhood memory of mine is playing outside at dusk and hearing my mom yell out the back door, “Come to the table!”

Our table was usually set with placemats, dinnerware, flatware, and candles. We were early “foodies” who would talk about “getting a good scald” on a dish or critique the food as to what could be done to improve the taste.

And there were the “round table” questions that each of us was invited to answer, while the others listened deeply as you talked. It was a powerful model for developing connection and tradition even when things weren’t always smooth or rosy.

For me, sitting down to a meal together was the uniting factor, one that built strong family ties, and one that I feel strongly about fostering for my own family, and others, too. This back story is why I named my business Julie’s Table, and why we often sit together at the end of a class and have a tasting meal. I’ve discovered that classes at Julie’s Table can also build relationships and community- just a side benefit of cooking together.

Can I help you discover ways to bring your family together at the dinner table? Could I introduce you to a dish that will become a family favorite, one they will ask for time and again? What about food that will become a family tradition, like my Christmas cookies or cinnamon rolls? That’s what I want to do! I want to help you develop a repertoire of skills and foods that your family loves to eat and great memories of times around the table. That’s my why! Come to the Table!

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