From the Foreword:
Extending the Table is an invitation...to enjoy the gifts of people from Argentina and Bangladesh to Yugoslavia and Zambia. The stories and recipes help us enter into the lives and situations of these people and to be changed by them in significant ways. Food is a medium of communication, but it is more; in a mysterious way, it is part of the message, as Jesus so vividly portrayed in the breaking of bread and distribution of the cup.
Extending the Table follows in the tradition of Doris Janzen Longacre's More-with-Less Cookbook, especially her Living More with Less, which I, as her husband, competed after her death. Both books challenged us to learn from the world community, to celebrate with joy, and to care for the earth. Extending the Table presents recipes and stories of people around the world. Many of them live with few material resources, yet they share gifts which point us toward a different and freer way of life.
Extending the Table is much more than a cookbook. It will most often be found on the kitchen shelf, but it could just as well fit comfortably on the bedside stand or coffee table for inspirational reading. Let it also find its way onto the pastor's shelf for its excellent sermon illustrations and stories.
For all of us, it provides repeated opportunities to take part in the lives of people around the world and to delight in the wealth they have to offer. As we are able to treat other peoples and traditions with respect and tenderness, we too are changed.—Paul Longacre, December 1990