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Keeping the Feast: Metaphors for the Meal
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Keeping the Feast: Metaphors for the Meal

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  52 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
This book looks at all the ways we gather around food in our lives as metaphors for Communion, that most sacred meal. It's a theology book with recipes and poetry intended to invite everyone to the table.
Paperback, 122 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Morehouse Publishing (first published January 1st 2012)
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Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
At first glance the book seems flippant--a lightweight paperback clocking in at 120 pages, broken down into vignette-like chapters and interspersed with recipes and poetry. But like any good cook, Milton* is an expert in balance and nuance, and as he blends story with insight and faith with food he neither moves too hastily nor dwells too long on an idea before moving along. (There is, perhaps, credit due to editorial here--it might have been tempting to push for a more solid book length by sacr ...more
Oct 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2012
This book is exquisitely written. I plan to go back and dip into each chapter again.
Sonya Gravlee
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Milton pens a love letter to food, faith and friends in this communion memoir: recipes included. Drawing on his passions for cooking and eating, sharing and singing, Milton explores communion as a ritual with meaning far beyond formal worship. He offers communion as more than bread and wine. Instead, Communion is possible at every meal with others. Expanding the theme of his long-time blog, Don't Eat Alone, he shares stories of meals with family, friends, and strangers; stories of cooking at hom ...more
Brandee Shafer
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this book a little like a starving person. It's not a long book. I didn't learn a great deal from reading it. As other reviewers have pointed out, it's not a particularly neat package. It's delicious, anyway. It fed my food-loving, food-as-love-loving, Jesus-loving heart. I felt like I was at dinner with a real storyteller, and, better yet, with someone who really cares for me and wants me to receive Holy Communion in the way I've come to believe it's meant to be received. What a beautifu ...more
David Manner
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Although it is tempting to read "Keeping the Feast: Metaphors for the Meal" like a novel in one sitting it should be enjoyed like a progressive dinner over time and in different locations. Brasher-Cunningham's text offers the spiritual transparency of Anne Lamott with the spiritual depth of Henri Nouwen. He reminds us through personal reflection that although the Table may not always be a happy place it is, however, a safe place where all are welcome. This book will be a great resource as I teac ...more
Heidi Kvanli
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-life
Like a banquet, this book is one to savor. This is a book to read again and again, preferably with others over a meal. Considering the author was raised Baptist, I was pleasantly surprised at his sacramental understanding of Holy Communion. (And, the included recipes are a bonus.) I intend to share this book with those who serve in the kitchen and food ministries at my church--and the altar committee as well! (As Patrick Keifert, one of my seminary profs once noted: "As goes the church kitchen, ...more
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Not just anyone could write about the sacrament of communion or the art of hospitality in a way that is gripping and deeply provocative. But Milton Brasher-Cunningham, a writer, chef, painter, former minister, former English teacher and currently also an editor, breathes new life into what could easily become dusty old rituals devoid of contemporary relevance. The author helps connect theology with daily life, intellectual questions with everyday practices, and spiritual yearnings with the simpl ...more
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Full disclosure: I have been reading Milton’s blog, Don’t Eat Alone, for so long that I feel I know him; surely we’re on a first name basis. (For the record, it’s been since at least May 2007….I found a reference to him in an email.) I love Milton’s ability to see life in terms of metaphor, and use metaphor to find meaning in life, especially in unpleasant or unnerving events. I like that his employment history and interests—English teacher, minister, cook, musician— enable him to make interesti ...more
Nov 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sacraments, food

Keeping the Feast: Metaphors For the Meal by Milton Brasher-Cunningham
As I sit and write this review the scent of two freshly baked pies fills the house and my hands smell of orange,curry, mace and ginger (remnants from my cranberry sauce). Tomorrow is thanksgiving and we are looking forward to our Turkey dinner, complete with all the fixings--stuffing, mashed patatoes, yams, brussel sprouts, green beans, and gratitude.

In Keeping the Feast: Metaphors for the Meal Milton Brasher-Cunningham draws
Feb 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you had told me there was a cookbook I would enjoy reading, I'd have asked if it was about bacon.

Had you told me there was a book about communion that would leave me longing for the taste of wafers in my mouth, I'd have scoffed.

Keeping the Feast is not about bacon and while I am not craving plastic wafers, I found myself riveted as I turned the pages of this book by Milton Brasher-Cunningham. In fact, I turned so many pages over and marked so many quote that you will probably see me referenc
Dec 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, essays
I'll be honest and admit that I didn't end up finishing the book. Normally that means I wouldn't give it a rating, but I was really close to the end when the book slipped past me and my reading. I mean to pick it back up, but in meantime, I wanted to review it and hopefully put the book on someone else's radar.

Milton, a long-time chef and minister, writes about religious and community lessons he's learned in his many years working food service. This includes the importance of gathering together
Communion has always had a special meaning for me; whenever I partake, I feel physically and spiritually full afterwards. I could have had nothing for breakfast, literally, but after having the little bite of bread and sip of wine I am satisfied. This has always gave me cause to wonder and strengthens my faith little by little each time. This book, written by someone who inspires me, put into words things I've only felt and had no words for some time and also added many dimensions to what commun ...more
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'll be honest…
Milton is a friend.

However, if you'll believe me in spite of that, "Keeping the Faith" is like a string around the finger, when it comes to what we simply must remember matters in life. And that "coming together around the table" is, in fact, one of those very few things.

Recipes, poems, and personal essays--these are a few of my favorite things--give the book a feel almost of ocean waves. And though I no longer attend a church of any physical kind, Milton keeps God--whatever she t
Oct 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Rachel
Shelves: religion
What was intended to be a brief perusal of a book to see if I would be recommending it to customers in the bookstore became a concentrated, full reading. I was "hooked" as soon as I noticed the author's praise of ritual as "meaningful repetition" and his assertion that "quotidian" is his favorite learned vocabulary word. Appropriately enough, I read part of the book while sitting in a church pew (before the service started, of course). The author has a candid style and examining grace, faith, li ...more
Erin Payseur Oeth
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a delectable read. I found it tucked away in a used book sale, and quickly snapped it up. It is an powerful depiction of communion, lived out in our daily meals and sharing life with each other. It is an invitation to practice hospitality, to cultivate ritual, to remember who we are in Christ and the significance of the Lord's supper. It has recipes that I am anxious to try, and suggestions for celebrating meals together, inviting others to the table.
Jul 18, 2014 rated it liked it
A good read. Light fare, rather than a hearty meal. I believe the author meant it to be that way. I loved his retelling of the Prodigal son and God "the spendthrift". "We are prodigals coming home every time we come to the Table." Some snippets that will stick to my ribs for a while.
Peter Ackerman
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Reads like a relly good short work forced into a larger one for publication purposes. Moves away from its thesis, from food to baseball for instance, creating a mostly unsatisfying clutter albiet with a few good nuggets.
Ana Hernandez
May 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lovely read.
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
A very fine book, one that I will go back to again and again. Full review at Dining With Donald,
Mar 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
What an inspiring and unusual read! To get beautiful poetry, profound life lessons, and yummy recipes in one book sure has me looking at cooking and breaking bread together in a different way.
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Incredible book about faith, food and coming to the table. Milton Brasher-Cunningham
Jan 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
A nice, short read that reminds you of the importance of coming together as the body of Christ.
Kathryn Johnston
Mar 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and look forward to weaving some of these chapters into future sermons.
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Nov 30, 2016
Jodi Gustafson
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Sep 09, 2014
Nathan C. Walk
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Dec 08, 2015
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Sep 20, 2012
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May 12, 2014
Jodie Kolkowski
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Nov 07, 2012
Charles Mencke
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Apr 09, 2014
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Milton Brasher-Cuningham is a writer, chef, teacher, minister, musician, husband, and keeper of Schnauzers who lives with his wife, Ginger, in Guilford, Connecticut. He works in New York City. He blogs at, sharing both reflections and recipes.
More about Milton Brasher-Cunningham

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