For the Love of Chalk

Anybody who’s been with us since the first Egg In A Nest hopped up onto the counter like Bathsheba’s loofah, will probably have noticed that chalk and chalkboards play a big role in the life of Table on Ten. There’s something primal at work in the relationship between hand, stone and wall. When late-Neanderthal noticed reindeer running past the mouth of his cave, he etched his feelings rudely over the mantlepiece. Hittite housewives, having witnessed their husbands sucked up by tractor beams from flying saucers, would immediately reproduce the scene on the wall to avoid accusations of matricide when friends came round later for cold barley porridge. And the following conversation wouldn’t have been out of place in the troglodyte dwellings of ancient Cappadocia:

Byzantine Man 1: Have you heard the one about the Immolation of St Garibaldus?
Byzantine Man 2: Why don’t you scratch it on the ceiling?

Detail / The Church of Dark Sandals
The post-iconoclastic Church of Dark Sandals (detail)

Whilst we rarely use Table on Ten’s chalkboards for religious inspiration (unless it’s the worship of Yemana’s Nettle Balls), they are nevertheless a kind of ever-evolving expression of the fundamentals.

What’s on the menu (in chalk).
What’s not on the menu (chalky smear).
What’s on the menu instead (in chalk over chalky smear).

In an effort to introduce perishables into the Microshop, we recently acquired a sarcophagus-sized, mustard-coloured refrigerator and coated it with Rust-oleum chalkboard paint. What’s inside is stated on the outside. Where you might have expected to find the mummy of Tutankhamun, you can now find such items as local non-homogenized Crystal Valley milk, our Table on Ten soups ‘to go’, Last Harvest Farm free-range eggs, hickory-smoked bacon from Dan Finn Farm, ¬†fresh greens from Burnett Farms, sweet pies from Four & Twenty Blackbirds and limited-edition savoury pies from Table on Ten. New stuff will appear – inside and out – as the seasons progress. And in every case we’ll chalk it up when it’s here, wipe it off when it’s gone. Like a metaphor for Life. The temporal nature of all good things.

The Fridge

Weekend Specials we try to render specially: on the board by the door, if there’s time and inspiration. Whether it’s about pies or soup or just the chicken-scratchings of a homily. It’s kind of our humble nod to the painterly Cappadocians, busily making beauty for beauty’s sake in some remote corner of an occasionally unforgiving landscape; and trying to do it beautifully.

The Board by the Door