Passionate About Food
I LOVE FOOD, WHICH IS NO SURPRISE FROM LOOKING AT ME. My tastes range from tender aged prime rib right down to a nice bowl of stovetop neon noodles. My father always says that I don’t look at the descriptions in a restaurant, I just look at the prices and pick the most expensive. Hardly true, but an indicator that I definitely appreciate the finer things on the plate. I would go so far as to say that I am passionate about eating, but not in the way you think I mean it.
My love of food is more about the social aspects than anything else. Certainly, I love the taste of a delicately prepared dish. But if I’m not sharing it with at least one other person, it’s hardly worth the time or effort. My favorite memories of meals are ones that I shared with a group of friends. Dinner with a group of like-minded geeks at a Brazillian churrascaria. Exquisite meals at Victoria & Albert’s and Laboratorio del Galileo with another couple we love so dearly. And that doesn’t even begin to cover holiday meals and family cookouts. There’s a reason why, when I’m traveling on business, I can most often be found at a burger joint. If I’m not sharing a meal, I just want something quick, cheap, and reasonably tasty.
There’s really no wondering why The Boss and I chose to open the business that we did. Dream Dinners is all about getting the family around the table for a meal. It’s so incredibly important to do, and so often set aside for a quick meal at the drive-through between sports practice, music lessons, grocery shopping, and collapsing on the couch in front of the TV. There are a ton of studies that show that kids who eat dinner at the table with family communicate more easily, do better in school, have fewer behavioral problems, are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, and are generally more healthy. Most people don’t realize that until you tell them, and then it seems like it’s so obvious. We have to make family dinners a top priority, and schedule around that.
Think back to your childhood. I bet most of us will remember that dinner time was 5 PM every night. Everyone sat down together, we ate together, and we talked together. It seems like we take it for granted now, but it’s such a critical part of growing up. And now we’ve got two-job families, and we feel guilty that we’re not home to cook dinner. And when we can manage to get everyone home at the same time, it’s hard to manage more than pizza or a bucket of chicken. It’s definitely better than nothing, but we’re “not doing our best job,” as my Punkinhead so often says.
I put it to you as a challenge. Make the time over the next week to get the entire family together for a meal, whether breakfast, lunch, or dinner, at least 4 times. Set at least 30 minutes aside to sit at the table together, outside of what it takes to prepare the meal. Turn off the TV. Talk about whatever comes up: work, school, what’s in the news. For extra credit, involve at least one other member of your family in preparing the meal.