That One Big Family Dinner
Nov. 6, 2011 4:00 pm
Updated: Nov. 18, 2013 3:46 pm
Food is that magical thing that brings people together. Some of my favorite childhood memories are helping my parents prepare meals, then sitting around the kitchen table and enjoying our labors while sharing good conversation and company.
Sadly, those meals around the table were few and far between. My sister and I usually took our meals to our rooms and mother and father would eat out in the den watching evening TV. I know a lot of my peers throughout my school career experienced similar mealtime
The only time the family would really get together and eat was for the holidays. This is probably why I enjoy Thanksgiving so much.
My family is spread out all over the United States; from Atlanta to Chicago, from Texas to Minnesota, from Iowa to Alaska. We really don't get to see each other very often, but we still keep in touch through weekly phone calls, letters and Facebook.
Thanksgiving is the time of year when we all make the pilgrimage to Georgia to cook, play card games around the dining room table, have movie marathons and share the year's stories.
When the extended family gathers, we make it a point to eat every meal together. It's so refreshing to sit around a table without any outside distraction and just enjoy each others company. I think if every family shared this time together at least five times
a week, we'd be a lot happier.
Everyone does something to help out on Thanksgiving Day. The younger cousins set up the dining room; putting out decorations, laying out plates and flatware. The older cousins help cook or run errands for anything that may have been overlooked. The aunts and
uncles run the kitchen, making sure all the dishes are orchestrated correctly. The grandparents wander in and out overseeing everything and stepping in where needed. It's a wonderful sort of organized chaos.
Now, my grandmother is a master baker. She's amazing, and not just because she's my grandmother. Try to tell her this, though, and she'd tell you that you're crazy. Luckily, her love of the oven and baked goods rubbed off my myself and my younger sister.
The past few years, we've convinced our aunt to let us bake the pies and cakes we eat for dessert instead of buying them from Costco. They're a million times better when they're home-cooked and it's less time waiting in long lines and more time spent with loved
So Ashley heads up the pies and apple crisp while I crank out a cheesecake, cranberry sauce and spiced mango upside down cake. We do all of our baking the night before Thanksgiving to avoid the craziness that happens while they're making souffles, turkey, mashed
potatoes, gravy, stuffing and dinner rolls.
It's a great way for Ashley and I to share something special that will be the making of cherished memories as we grow older.
This family time, the wonderful simplicity of sharing a great family meal, is what I am most thankful for.
Keep family dinners in mind as Thanksgiving approaches and try to make more of an effort to bring the family together around the table as much as possible.
Keep on cooking!