Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Family Meal

Martha Stewart doesn't live here. June Cleaver would faint if she walked in. I haven't worn an apron since it was required attire for my job at Kinko's. Our family meal does not even remotely resemble any iconic tradition of the past, in anyway except one: we are together. The plates don't match, the dishes from cooking aren't yet washed. There's chaos as we all gather our drinks, wash hands, step over the dogs and yell questions from one side of the house to the other as we gather.

"Did you pick up your toys outside?", calls Dad. "NO!" yells one of the kids, as the other conveniently ignores the question. "Did you set the table?", asks Mom, seeing the sparsely set table and already knowing the answer. "Yes, we did!", say the kids. "What about forks? Napkins? Come on, guys, you know what we need. Don't make me say it again."

And so the story goes. Night after night, a similar reel plays again and again. And, eventually, we manage to all sit down, praise God for our blessings, and eat. Together. It ain't always pretty, and we ain't the Cleavers, but we do try to make meal time family time. One night a week, we have a living room picnic and we watch a movie. There might be another night where the kids eat something quickly at the bar before being rushed to gymnastics. Some nights we don't eat until 8, just so we can eat with Daddy. Like I said, it's not perfect, and even at its imperfection it takes effort, but it is an effort that we find worthwhile.

At the table, things settle, at least a little. Daddy asks the kids about school. We talk about our days. The content doesn't really matter. We talk. We laugh. We eat. We repeat.

Monday: Scrambled Eggs, bacon, fresh strawberries, toast

Breakfast for dinner: mmm, mmm, good!

Tuesday: Creamy Linguine with Shrimp and Veggies, quick garlic toast

Quick Garlic Toast

4 slices whole grain bread
2 T. butter, softened
1.5 t. garlic powder

Toast bread. Spread butter evenly over all 4 pieces of toast. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Serve. 4 servings.

Wednesday: Meal Swap Meal

Thursday: hamburgers, green beans, roasted potato wedges

Friday: Out to eat (we're on the road this weekend, so the family meal will be held at someone else's table)

Saturday: Grilled Steak, Grilled Balsamic Vegetables, Baked Potatoes, Corn on the Cob

I use the recipe provided for Grilled Balsamic Vegetables, but I cut the veggies smaller and grill them in a basket.