Ypsi Cooks

healthy and sustainable for the frugal foodie


On Family Dinner

I just took this poll on how many times a week we eat family dinner together. For us the answer is 7. Unless Tom and I have a date. So, um, like I said. 7. (Ok, so we do go on dates, but usually just once every-other month or so, and then the kids are eating with their grandparents or some of our best friends, so I feel that’s pretty much like family dinner. And we spend our dates talking about our kids antics, so that’s kinda like family dinner, too.) But back to the poll. She talked about Michelle Obama asking people set an attainable goal in cooking family dinner, even if once a week is the most you are willing to aim for. This got me thinking, why is this such a normal part of our life, and so challenging for others? You know what I come up with? Practice.

We’ve had a lot of practice. When we started dating, I lived with my folks (the best student teaching decision I ever made) and Tom lived in a house with friends. We had dinner at his house, or at the home of friends (yes D&B, I’m talking about you). Then he moved home and I move into a place that was mighty close to his work. So, Tom came over to my house and we made dinner just about every night. So for the two years before we were even married, that’s the way it worked. Dinner at his house, dinner at mine, dinner with friends, dinner at our parents’… By the time Eli came around, we had almost three years of practice making and eating family dinner. Sometimes it’s fancy and planned, but more often that not it’s “What sounds good and what do we need to use?” and meals we know how to make without looking at a recipe. But most of all, it’s practice. And it gets easier as time goes on, even as the kids present us with new challenges. But lately we’ve been talking about making a weekly menu so we don’t have the daily, “What’s for dinner?” conversations. Or maybe just a list on the fridge of easy, delicious, quick dinners. What do you think? Do you plan ahead, or fly by the seat of your pants? Any other thoughts on family dinner?

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