Family : The Family Table
Did you grow up sitting across the table from your siblings and/or your parents? At my place, in Ye Olden Days, when I was a kid, we always ate together. Sometimes it was at the now-totally-coveted Teak Extendable Dining Table With Matching Chairs (mint condition!) And sometimes we smooshed ourselves into the now-totally-coveted Danish Deluxe Lounge Suite (brown, one owner!) We’d have roasts and fondue and other fiddlier things at the table. And bowls of corn chowder or tuna casserole or take-away were more the loungey kind of meal, huddled around the TV watching The Goodies or Dr Who or some such retro ABC-ness. We hardly ever ate out, because the food and fun was kinda nicer at home.
My parents cooked from The Australian Women’s Weekly cookbooks, or foodie magazines or Cordon Bleu kinda cookbooks. They were really great and adventurous cooks, and they have passed that on to me. Phew!
If I press the fast forward button and wind things forward to now, our family eating habits are pretty similar. We eat together every night, mostly at the table. We usually eat something Asian-inspired like Fish Curry or Potato Curry or Dahl or my AMAZING (true!) Teriyaki Chicken. Sometimes we have Roast Chicken with vegetables (mostly I just eat the vegetables) or homemade pizzas (we have a cool pizza oven!) Occasionally we have pasta (I like to make gnocchi) or chicken pie. And we love to have Mexican (made from scratch because the Spanish grocer is just down the road from my house!)
We have takeaway once a fortnight, perhaps. And we eat out maybe once a month because it costs SO MUCH to eat out and we are all usually starving afterwards because the portions are so teensy!
We cook from all kinds of great cookbooks, because we are addicted to cookbooks. (Here are some of my faves, if you are interested!)
I find it REALLY hard to decide on things to cook at home, because we all like different things. I am not a vegetarian, but I prefer to eat vegetables. The boys are totally in to meat. At every meal. Ugh. I cook a big pot of soup once a week: maybe this Minestrone, for instance : and I freeze some so that I can have a vegie alternative if the meat fest has gone on too long. Sometimes I make my own bread too, because I am an annoying overachiever like that. I don’t bake cakes very often though. Weird. I like cakes!
Our kids chat and read at the table. We don’t mind a bit of a snack and read. I know that in some houses this is a total no-no, but we are quite feral in the literary department and encourage reading at all times. (Except I don’t like the TOILET reading thing. Ugh!) We usually have one dumb argument at the dinner table every single night. This is how we know that dinner is over. Then we cleverly head to the kitchen for a new debate about who is doing the dishes (the dishwasher is broken!) After that we go into the lounge room and bicker over what to watch on TV. Well. The kids go upstairs to watch TV and my partner and I bicker, actually.
Then we happily drink tea (or sometimes wine) and watch something together whilst also looking at our computers and begging the kids to get in the bath, brush their teeth and other important things.
That’s how it goes in our house. It’s sort of like The Waltons meet The Simpsons. Nice.
What is it like at your Family Table? Or what was it like when you were growing up? Do you sit down together to eat? What kinds of things do you like to eat and cook? Do you go out often? Or do you prefer to eat in? Are restaurants unaffordable for families? And are the serves to small?! Are you The Waltons? Or are you The Simpsons?! Do chat with me and tell us what it’s like for you, JustBees!
image credit : Inchmark via Dinner A Love Story
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