Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sometimes Finding Your Seat Isn't Easy

One year ago today I wrote the essay that is below. I still feel the same way today, though after a year of cooking and documenting many of my meals with photos and sharing recipes with you, I see how it isn't that simple.  Our schedules are hectic and we are all busy, that hasn't changed. Looking back I think the years when my children were younger were the years that were the easiest.  I didn't work, and I could get some things done, including getting a head start on dinner when they were napping or at preschool.  My children are much older now, and though some things are easier, there are some things that are a challenge or are even harder. But, one thing remains the same.  We've got to eat.

The idea of sitting at the table together with my family is still important, and we do it often, but there were many times it wasn't so perfect as I had envisioned.  Planning a meal with good intentions of getting it togther and on the table was sometimes difficult. Children with different schedules on some days and games that ran late on others, made it challenging. And though I only work part-time I will tell you that I am tired at the end of the afternoon and there were times I just didn't feel like cooking. I am human. Hurried to get dinner together, I often just piled the silverware and plates on the counter along with the pots and pans that contained dinner and said, "buffet style come and get it". I admit there were times when we ordered out just to keep my insanity and their bellies full.

Though I didn't expect myself or others to be the "Cleaver's" or the "Walton's" during dinner time, I have to admit the fantasy was there for me, at times.  Wouldn't it be lovely?  But, that lifestyle doesn't really fit the way life is today, and that is a whole other topic, maybe for another time. But, whether you choose to make a homecooked meal or order in, whether you eat it at the counter or you are sitting at the table, the goal is still the same. Put the cell phones away, turn the television off, try to slow down for 30 minutes, and enjoy what happens during dinner time - An actual conversation ;)

(Originally posted January 17, 2012)

For many of us we are too busy or tired to get a meal together. Our schedules are crazy and our priorities maybe a little unbalanced. When I was growing up we didn't have so many activities as our children do today. We weren't so connected with everyone either. No cell phones, no email, no texts. Life was a little more simpler back then.

When I was growing up my mother always made dinner. There was no take out (except for maybe on Sunday) and going out to dinner was for special occasions. The table was always set properly with placemats, plates, napkins, silverware in the right places and glasses. I also remember her meal was always balanced. A meat or fish with a starch and a vegatable, and we always sat down as a family and we would talk about our day.

Recently, I was talking with a friend about family meal time. My friend said to me that even if it is just her and her daughter home for dinner she still requires that they set the table. Her daughter will sometimes protest and say, "why does it matter?", to which my friend says, "It does matter". Now, I am not expecting that families be like the "Cleaver's" or the "Walton's". Surely, though, we can find at least one evening to make a meal and sit down as a family.

When our days and lives are so hectic, impart from all our texting and emailing and work loads, setting time to sit down as a family is so important. It is a time to connect with one another. Sharing a meal is so simple and yet it means so much. Find a seat at your own table. Relax, connect and laugh with your family. My hope for my blog and Facebook page is that it truly inspires you to cook, to entertain in a way that suits you, and to try something new.

Seasonal Foods