This is what I thank my parents for, a family tradition. Dinner at the table every evening. A square meal with a home-made dessert.
Everyone told about their day and what we learned. Dinner began about ten minutes after Dad walked in the door and got changed. In high school I got in trouble because gymnastics practice sometimes took three hours after school and I was late. I had to stay. I was the captain, after all.
We always had to ask to be excused from the table to do homework. Dad always had funny excuses when we were little, like “No, you can’t put your teddy bear in the oven!”
It was not scripted, but it was. A family eating one meal a day with each other, sharing stories. Perhaps that is why I share stories with you. When my husband is in town we share breakfast and dinner every day. Not necessarily at a table. At some point we avoid work and budget discussions and talk about other things.
Last night I made a roast chicken, nearly 4 pounds, with salt, pepper, thyme. Around it were wedges of Yukon Gold potatoes with garlic and herbs, nearly the last of my in-home garden. Also sauteed arugula. It was good and half the chicken is left for today. Perhaps it will become an arugula, chicken and apple or Satsuma tangerine salad. We’ll see. I’m always open to suggestions. Oh, perhaps the last of the sun-dried tomatoes from the Italian shop down the way.
Yesterday I took the meat off some chicken breasts, cut it up and mixed it with mayo and some apple (Kiku) and placed it on toasted wheat bread for my dear.
Family is important. I try to get all my work done so I can spend weekends with my husband. We now enjoy oatmeal for breakfast with low-fat vanilla yogurt and berries. Dinner is whatever my heart desires. No, not surf and turf. It’s skirt steak, pork or chicken. Texas chili, the true stuff, 1962 Pedernales chili (no beans) from LBJ’s ranch, party of 500. My version.
Many families I know get food when they walk in the door, alone. No family dinner. I believe that is a mistake of grand proportions. Yes, I got in trouble for being late for good reason, but we all sat together and it made us better people for doing so. Cheers! Dee
When dinner was over, all the neighborhood kids would come and call on Dad to come out and play. We played touch football on our dead-end street or baseball between two trees in the back yard. His rule was that everyone got to play. We’d carry babies to get the home run or touchdown. Everyone won. Every day.