Being Fed // Not Without Salt

I’m easing back in. Into this space, into the kitchen and into sharing myself through photographs, words, and food again. I’m tiptoeing up to the computer making myself tap the keys in an attempt to put words into sentences. It is a practice that I fell away from because well, I must admit that welcoming the book into the world has shaken me more than I anticipated. It’s not a bad thing, I’m just shaky. So much so that I have found myself at an entirely different seat at the table.

Instead of my usual position of shuffling in the kitchen preparing the meal, I am the one staggering to the table with empty plate in the hand in need of being fed. It’s a humbling, uncomfortable position as I much prefer the aprons strings tightly tied around my waist with a heaping platter of food made to feed those sitting around the table. But as we all know in life there are seasons; a passing of one thing to the next, and each season needs its turn. This has been my season to be fed.

Sometimes you need to be the one sitting at the table. Sometimes food is not about just about serving but also allowing someone else to serve you. There are days when you need to hold up an empty plate; tired, empty and humbly ask for a seat at the table.

Maybe you just had a baby. Or perhaps you’ve experienced great loss. Maybe it’s just that the day is hard and you need some help sludging through. Whatever the reason, at some point we all must be fed.

Being Fed // Not Without Salt Being Fed // Not Without Salt

I’ve needed to remind myself that it’s okay to simply sit at the table without bringing anything but yourself there. That’s enough. Don’t waste a moment feeling guilt or shame because that masks the beauty of humbly taking a seat. Instead, soak it in, let each bite be one of gratitude and slowly you will be fed and eventually ready to feed again.

Those of us who hold a deep passion for food, I will venture to say that it is because we love to feed. To care for those we love and to create the space for life, relationship and love to build around the table. Let’s not forget to give those who love us the chance to do the same for us. We all need it.

The images in this post were from a lunch made by my friend, Aran Goyoaga. Ironically when I showed up for lunch she was preparing recipes from my book which is such a stunning visual of the cyclical nature of feeding others; it comes back around when you need it most.


Because of my community, my tribe and my many opportunities to sit at others’ tables in the season I am ready to feed again. I’ll be back here very soon, with cake.


Also, I have a few events to point out:

We are headed to San Francisco next week. So I’ll see you at Omnivore on Wednesday evening, right?


Then Palm Springs (2/6) and Palm Desert (2/7). More information here.


There are still tickets available for our incredible Valentines’ Dinner in Portland. I’ll announce the menu soon. It’s ridiculous, trust me.



46 Responses to “Being Fed”

  1. Dena Young

    Such beautiful words – I can completely relate. The difficulty is in letting others take care of you, but when you do, it is so rewarding. Thank you for sharing, and congratulations on the book!

  2. Amber

    Oh good golly, this made me teary. Thanks for (as always) putting the wonderful dynamic of caregiving and giving of self into food and love. It’s such a great feeling to give and feed others….but what a humbling experience to be fed without judgment or status.

    Love it, thank you.

  3. carrie

    Such a great reminder that it’s ok to just sit at the table sometimes. It can be hard to go out of your own comfort zone or routine but so rewarding to experience a different perspective. Don’t worry your shakiness will soon subside. It’s a wonderful gift to us all that you have shared so much in your book. Thank you.

  4. Emily

    These are nice thoughts about being fed. On another note, I am loving your book, and I made the chilaquiles for friends this weekend. Everyone loved it!

  5. Katie

    What a beautifully written post and wonderful sentiment, Ashley. You sure do have a way with words — and food. Wish I could make it to your event at Omnivore next week, but my boyfriend’s parents will be in town… Maybe I can get them to tag along! Either way, safe travels, and let me know if you need any good recommendations of things to eat/drink/do in SF!

  6. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Beautifully written. I was always in my realm in the kitchen. Then my hubby retired and he loves to cook also. I had to learn to share the space. Being Italian I love to feed the ones I love — it’s a way of showing love. I had to gracefully accept that my hubby wanted to show his love too, by feeding me.

  7. Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table

    It’s entirely true about how important it is to allow yourself to be fed. That act of relinquishing control and letting others take care of you, of placing your trust in someone else’s abilities and skills and decision-making, it is both so humbling and reassuring at the same time. Take as much time as you need to ease back into feeding others – your book is already providing ample inspiration in the meantime!

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      It is reassuring, you’re totally right. To know that you are surrounded with love and to see that love so tangibly, it’s beautiful. Thank you for your encouragement. I forget sometimes that the book is out there; living and breathing and in so many homes. I feel so distant from it. But it makes me so happy to see people with the book, see the food coming from it and to hear about the dates that are inspired by it. What a gift.

  8. abby - www.

    Such a beautiful post. Every word of it is so true. Those of us that are passionate for food have such a hard time allowing anyone else to be the feeders. It’s hard for us to sit there and be fed. I just LOVE to cook and bake for other people that it’s hard for me to let people even consider cooking something for me or a group, I just want to do it all myself because I love it so. It’s something I’m working on.

  9. Sandra

    Choked up reading this. Choked up because I can relate to the challenge of letting others “do” for me when all I need is just to sit and be. Oh how hard that is when I’m so used to being the one doing/giving to my loved ones.

    And how sweet this is because it’s a different kind of love from Date Night In – the love that one friend can show for another. I can’t think of anything sweeter than having a friend cook for me.

  10. Rebecca @ Bring Back Delicious

    I don’t think you can be a great chef without occasionally sitting on the other side of the table. Think of it as an opportunity to see things in a different light! Congratulations on the book and best of luck!

  11. Amanda

    Yeah! For being fed–humbling as you say, and so, so deeply healing. And yeah for you, in San Francisco, in a week! So hoping to make the hop. Looking forward to meeting you!

  12. Brian @ A Thought For Food

    I so agree… sometimes we should just embrace the world around us and go with the flow a bit more. It’s not a selfish thing to let others take care of us from time to time. I’m starting to get used to that feeling, but it’s taken some time. As always, I love these words and photos… the thoughts you put into my head. Oh, and seeing Aran. So lovely.

  13. Chanel

    Congrats on getting back at it! It can be hard to sit on the other side – but what a view that can be. I agree with you and love your line ‘This has been my season to be fed.’ It’s so refreshing to read your honesty and vulnerability. Thanks.

  14. Demetria Provatas

    Beautiful words! I’ve also just renewed my fervor for posting and sharing and making. It’s a good feeling, but I do find when I sit down to eat, or are taking a walk, I have to remind to take a few deep breaths and feel gratitude or presence and mostly not constantly worry what the next thing to do is.

    Also, I think I’ll be working with you in a little over a month — on your dinner with Sunday Suppers! I’m excited!

  15. Kate

    I love this post. Having recently been in hospital I’ve had to get used to not being such a busy person for the last week or so, letting my husband cook for me and relinquishing the tasks that I normally love to manage myself (or control!). Being fed, as you say, is so important – as important as feeding, and accepting love from others as you give it to them.

  16. Laura

    Hi Ashley,

    I heard about your book and blog through the Wednesday Chef – Luisa’s post this week reviewing your book came at exactly the right moment. It was the day before my husband and mine’s anniversary, I was racking my brains trying to think of a present to buy him, and thinking of something to do next week for our date night (it’s our NY resolution to make sure we have one every week), and then your book seemed like it would solve both problems. I got straight onto Amazon, ordered one of the last two copies left in the UK and got it delivered yesterday morning. As I was about to wrap it up, I had a “quick flip” through it and 3 hours later (!) I had read the whole thing and was feeling guilty that I had bought my husband a present that I wanted to keep for myself! It’s such a great book, beautifully written with gorgeous sounding menus that I know we’ll enjoy preparing for each other and for friends, so a big thank you from me for providing the perfect present, and from both of us for providing the inspiration for some great date-nights to come x

  17. Julia

    It’s so hard for me to remember this. I am often selfish in the kitchen. Not lost on me is the generosity you show when you allow someone else to take care of, feed, and nurture you. Here’s to being more generous!

    Congratulations on all your accomplishments! So well deserved.

  18. Trang

    You’re absolutely right. I’ve been losing appetite lately, my “chef” spirit disappeared. I’ve been struggling to find myself happy in the kitchen again. Then I realised maybe it’s because I live alone and far away from home, I work almost 7 days a week, sharing my foods and recipes with close coworkers (and getting compliment from them) is my happiness. I thought I could lift up my mood by treating myself a fancy meal, so yesterday I went out for dinner (solo). The food was good, but part of me wasn’t content. I think I simply want to be fed by my family again.

  19. Erin

    This posting was beautiful. It fits in perfectly with my next blog post! I love how you talked about the characteristic of those of us who are so passionate about food…so, so true. You it the nail on the head 🙂

  20. sara forte

    oh such wonderful words. Maybe one of my favorite posts of your because I understand it. I am not very good about letting other people help me, as like you said, I am the one who usually feeds and nurtures. After having a babe and life and time looking dramatically different, I am understanding that at some point, I will have to allow other people to feed me. It feels so nice and I wish I lived closer so I could pour into you at this shaky time! You are such a treasure of a friend. I know these people are all anxious to give to you.

  21. Aimee @ Simple Bites

    I want to hug you both. That is so like Aran to take you in, and feed you in her beautiful way. Love that about her.

    Take your time. We’re all feasting from your book, and it is fresh and new.

  22. Kasey

    You hit the nail on the head (as always). I often feel like I can’t just come empty-handed, or sit at the table waiting to be fed. What a needed reminder. xo

  23. Karissa

    Thank you so much! I have built an identity around “food as my love language”. I had my second son this past summer and my first is 2. Wrangling two children has given me much less time to play in the kitchen, and I’ve been secretly worried that I’m losing my presence there as I just throw eggs into a pan to satisfy hungry tummies instead of really building beautiful and meals. It’s good to be reminded that it’s okay to be worn out or just getting by sometimes, and there will be time to blossom again in the future!

  24. Lana Rozhik

    “Those of us who hold a deep passion for food, I will venture to say that it is because we love to feed.” I don’t think anyone has said it better. When I think those words to myself, I feel that if I say them out loud people will not understand. Those words expose the true reason many of us cook, to please, and in the simplest form, show we care without saying a word.

  25. Erin

    After all you have poured out of yourself creating this lovely gift to all of us, it’s no wonder! Yes!! Take this time, all the time you need to be fed, to rest, to have a sabbath. I will say, thank you, for the wonderful book you’ve worked so hard to deliver. My husband and I, even without the planning we’d hoped, were determined to have our own date night in, and share a meal that you shared with us. We read from your book, related to your words, and enjoyed a nice meal and time together (kids in front of movie in their beds). It sparked a renewed desire to carve out this time, even just monthy. To create our own traditions of “dating in”. And although I prepared it all in my home, with your deliciously thoughtful recipes, we felt like we may as well have been dining out. 🙂 Thank you, for being such a dear friend, without having ever met me. Love to you and Gabe and your family.

  26. jenn

    Ashley, I love your writing. And it seems like you write about exactly what I need to read, especially this post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings, and of course, your amazing recipes. You are a great inspiration.

  27. kacie

    So much love to you, dear friend. Cooking indeed has it’s seasons, I’m reentering one of inspiration and cooking after one of… less. Wish I lived closer and could cook you a wonderful meal. You are amazing.


  28. Jessie Snyder | Faring Well

    Your words cuts right to my heart in this post. Thank you for reminding me its okay to be fed, to allow others to step in a do for me what I cannot at the moment. And to do it humbly. I’m thankful for this season in your life because it means encouraging others, such as me, with your words in this post. I hope you are fed well in this time and I look forward to following along as you continue to share all that you do through this space. Thank you <3

  29. Bec

    It is totally okay to have to be fed. Some times I have to be fed too and I cannot muster the strength to do the dishes either – I am lusky I have someone who doesn’t mind doing both every now and then 🙂

    Some lovely photos and all the best ! x

  30. Kristan@the-broken-bread

    What lovely words, Ashley.
    I agree with you in that my passion for food is deeply rooted in the desire to feed and serve others. I find it hard to step away from this identity and allows others to serve me sometimes. I usually feel weird at first because I don’t want people to go out of their way for me, but when I have that response I realize that I am taking away an experience from them, an experience that I already know I love so much.

    I haven’t had a chance to get your book, amazon is sold out!!! Which is so great to see! I hope to get one soon and maybe stop by your LA signing when you set a date. Hope all of your travels are going well 🙂 Congrats again on your book!


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