Week 32: Dinner Time. On a typical childhood evening, who was around the dinner table? Was the meal served by one person, or was it a free-for-all? What is dinner time like in your family today?
Dinner time in my family as a child was a very Midwestern meat and potato type of meal. During the school year dinner time included my mother cooking and placing the food on the table. We would sit around the kitchen table and eat family style. Prayers were said and then we would pass the food to each other. My dad who was a high school coach would eat when he got home. My mom would make a plate for him and keep it warm until he got home. I remember having very well-balanced meals; meat, a starch-usually potatoes of some type, vegetables, and fruit, jello, or dessert. My mother is an excellent cook, everything was made from scratch. I remember roasts, chicken, steak, meat loaf, pork chops and spaghetti.
Summertime would find the whole family at the table, including dad. Meals were a little lighter during the summer. My mom would make use of the fresh fruits and vegetables that were available during the summer. Favorite summertime meals were BLT's, hot dogs, hamburgers, sloppy joes or fried chicken.
For as long as I can remember we had sit down family meals. Even in high school when our schedules were busy we would meet at the dinner table. I kept the same tradition when my children were growing up. Family meal time was the time to catch up with everyone's day and hear the stories of what was going on. I think this is what I miss the most now that I am an empty nester. I miss the laughter at the table. I miss hearing the kids talk about their day.
I am a planner and have always planned two weeks worth of meals and grocery shop for it. I try to balance the main meal between beef, chicken, fish, pork, or vegetarian. I have gotten away from the meat and potato type meals for my husband and I. I love to try new recipes and rarely have the same thing twice in a month. Currently, I grill a lot and we usually have a vegetable and salad, or at least we do when we are being good about eating healthy. Every now and then I get tired of cooking and then we eat out. Dessert is few and far between.
Family meal time was and is a wonderful experience. One that I feel fortunate enough to have been able to have as a child and a mother.