I have a few sage leaves to thank for learning a clear lesson on hospitality last weekend. I left a photo assignment with the fullest heart, a handful of herbs and an even clearer picture of how beautiful hospitality can look when it comes genuinely from the heart.
I’m learning that the efforts we make to provide hospitality are only as good as our hearts intention — it’s just as much about what you do for people as it is how you feel doing it. When hospitality comes out of an overflowing of love to share, care and provide it’s evident and beautiful in real ways. I saw that firsthand as I was welcomed with genuine appreciation into a stranger’s home last weekend.
I was documenting a family gathering in celebration of a 90th birthday, but I felt just as much a part of the festivities as anyone who was at the party by invitation. Sandra, the hostess, effortlessly greeted, conversed, danced, and brought everyone together to celebrate her husband’s birthday — all with the most beautiful smile on her face. Never seeming phased by the prospect of hosting 50 people and simultaneously enjoying the party herself.
Sandra's hospitality sent me home from the party with a smile on my face and the sweet smell of fresh sage leaves inside my car. Her warmth and ease were evident to all and worth noting — she navigated the evening with such grace that I can only hope to emulate for whoever I find myself serving next. Whether that's a grand birthday party with 50 guests or inviting a dear friend over on a whim to eat a quick dinner. As long as there's food and a warm embrace, that's the crux of all this anyway.
- Preheat the oven to 450.
- Toss the blackberries, sage, and brown sugar in a shallow pie plate.
- Roast for 10 minutes, or until the blackberries are soft and the juices are bubbling.
- Meanwhile, slice away the very top of the Brie wheel, removing just the rind.
- Place the Brie in a small ovenproof dish or another pie plate.
- Spoon the hot blackberries on top of the Brie, and pour the syrup over it.
- Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the Brie is very hot and soft but has not collapsed.
- Remove from the oven. Serve immediately with bread or crackers.