Laura Calder has something a little different coming for her fans November 7. Just in time for the Christmas gift-buying season, Calder is releasing The Inviting Life, a book she’s spent the last year on, the first by her that isn’t a cookbook.
The New Brunswick born French cuisine pro crafted her latest book to be an inspirational guide to hosting, homemaking and opening the door to happiness. She says since she moved from France to Toronto three years ago, she’s been focused on entertaining and homemaking and has come to realize the importance of these undervalued skills.
“[They] sound like shallow things. It’s things we don’t have a lot of respect for,” she says. “But I do a lot of it naturally so what made me get into this book was thinking ‘okay, I’m an intelligent woman. I’ve done lots of things and here I am doing these things our society spits on. Are they really so bad? Because I’m not unhappy. Do they do more than we give them credit for?’”
Calder says that a focus on the home and making it hospitable is especially important in a world she believes has become inhospitable and uncivilized. She wants to bring a focus back to what were traditionally women’s roles in the home and draw attention to how important those roles actually are.
“I would like people to see the value of every action they take to look after the things around them,” she says. “I’d like people to realize that when they’re having a dinner party, they’re not being a frivolous lady who lunches, they’re actually getting people together, feeding their souls, giving them good food, giving them new ideas and sending them out the door feeling like they belong, like they are valued.”
“It’s a morale booster in a big way and I hope to empower people to see they can make big changes in their lives and in the world by doing quite small things with care.”
Calder says The Inviting Life provides a context for everything else she’s written. She says it’s not a finger-wagging how-to, but rather a guide to make people think about how they cook and take care of their homes.
“It was a real examination of what is homemaking, what is hosting and what do they do for the world,” she says.
“My conclusion is that they are actually very strong leadership roles and that without them, everything on top collapses.”
The Inviting Life is now available to pre-order online.