My family growing up: Me, Dad, Mom, Nick, and Sera
(as a side note, I'm now the shortest in my family and little Nick is a giant.)
Growing up my mom was amazing at getting a family meal on the table. Some days it wasn't anything fancy, like Hamburger Helper (which I still despise). But even with our less than fancy fare we always ate together as as a family. We even kept it up during the years when my dad was traveling a lot and wasn't around to join us for dinner. Most of the meals that Mom made were just fantastic. She really put a lot into feeding our family.
I usually volunteered to do the dishes because I didn't like to cook very much. This worked fine for my mom since she generally dirtied every dish in the kitchen and needed someone to wash some of them a few times before we even got the meal on the table (this is something I picked up from her much to the sorrow of my poor husband and someday poor little Cormac). One of the things that would drive me the most crazy was the way she would cook something in a pan and then put it in a pretty bowl to set on the table. I thought we should just set the pan on the table and save ourselves another dirty dish, but Mom was strict about this rule most of the time.
Lately I've been striving to make our meals at home more fulfilling. Did you know that a meal that is presented in a beautiful way is more satisfying and usually leads you to eat less? It's true. When the food is beautiful with many different colors next to nice dishes it makes the meal more pleasing. In my own family I make it a point for us all to eat together. Even when Cormac was strictly on baby food and couldn't eat what Ammon and I were eating, we still sat at the table together and ate together (usually my food was cold before I finished with Cormac and got to it, but still, we were together). I wanted to set the standard for the rest of our life as a family together.
The more I learn about having meals as a family the more impressed I am with the idea that in order to create a healthy relationship with food and with each other family meals are incredibly important. So much so that I believe we need to make more effort to eat at home at any cost. Home cooked meals are so much healthier for you (most of the time). Plus you eat less than when you are at a restaurant.
I decided to write about this today because I read an interview that Nie Nie did. You can read it here. In a world that emphasizes quick and easy shouldn't we take back at least one area and demand that it be special, slow, and enjoyable? We would all be so much healthier, both in mind and body.
So to my mother: Thank you for all the times you made us set the table nicely, even though I had to do more dishes (it had it's good side effects too, I don't know anybody who can wash as fast and well as I can, ahem toot, toot). Thank you for taking the time to feed us well, even though we weren't always appreciative. And most of all, thank you for making family time a priority. I hope someday to be as good at making dinner special as you were.