Thoughts on dinner have been trending in my mind. My son, now the primary cook in our house due to his culinary interests, has been involved in other things these past few days meaning that I am coming home after work and fending for myself. At Toastmasters earlier this week the Table Topics were all about tables and invariably dinner was part of it too. And I have been remembering my changing role in dinner activities over my lifetime to date.
The 50’s cliché was the male breadwinner coming home to sit down to the family dinner cooked from scratch by his lovely wife all dressed up including pearls. I’ve experienced some of this ideal in different ways and can see benefit. When I was growing up mom and dad both put high importance on having a family evening meal. Mom did the stay-at-home thing which included dinner from scratch for most of my childhood. She didn’t have much interest in cooking per se, but she did have enough interest in healthy eating. Her forte was conversation, the exchange of ideas once we were all at the table. Even once she was working and going to school, we managed to keep the family meal going.
I became a stay-at-home mom cooking the dinners from scratch, ready when my husband came home and before we had to head back out to whatever event or practice my boys had going. I had a greater interest in cooking than my mom had shown, along with an equal interest in the exchange of ideas while we ate. Feeding our minds and bodies, as well as feeding the family bond.
Even after becoming a single mom working a full time job, I felt it was highly important to keep up the tradition of a sit-down, scratch-cooked dinner. The actual cooking part wasn’t so important, but the shared experience and time together was something that I could give my boys.
And now I would be hard pressed to find the energy and mental capacity to whip up a dinner every night. I am happy to leave this task to my son who is caught up in the magic of creating maximum flavor experiences with food. When he isn’t otherwise occupied at dinner time.
Being a ‘foodie’ is trending now along with an interest in fresh, sustainable ingredients. The shared familial experience, the flow of talk and ideas doesn’t seem to have the same esteem though. Dinner might just be another meal that we squeeze into our day, perhaps not one that even two people in a family have at the same time.
How do you feed your mind, body and the family bond these days?
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