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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Peek Inside the Parsonage

Ever find yourself staring off into space as you think on the past?  That happened to me Monday night at Bible study.  As we listened to the dietitian talk about preparing dinner for our families, I heard her say more than once, "Make dinnertime special for your family."  I found myself thinking back to dinnertime when our daughters were younger.  It's a special memory to me now, not because of any remarkable thing I cooked or did, but just because it was a regular part of family life.  To have skipped family dinner would have been as unthinkable as going without a bath!  I wondered to myself, "What is it that made our family dinners special?"  Here's what I came up with:

  • We tried to schedule it for a regular time each evening, that way everyone knew when to be home and ready.
  • We always sat at the kitchen table.  That may sound like a given, but I know some families have a "grab and go" mentality.  They grab what's on the stove and sit wherever - in the living room, or their bedroom.  Not so at our house - we asked that everyone sit together at the table.
  • We always set the table with all the silverware - fork, knife, and spoon, plate, glass and napkin.  No matter what was being served, all the utensils were set out.  Making the table attractive with flowers or a candle in the middle at suppertime made everyone know that this was a special time together.
  • We tried to teach good table manners in a lighthearted kind of way - things like napkin in the lap, chewing with mouth closed, passing food before serving yourself.   We also taught the girls to wait until the thanks was given, and then they were to wait until I began to eat before they ate.  Then whenever we were at some one's home as their guests, they knew to wait for our hostess to begin eating before they picked up their forks and began to eat.  Manners start at home.  =)
  • Except for lunch on Friday's, the television was off at mealtime, that way we could talk as a family.  We tried to keep conversation going about the day's events or other things going on in our lives.  (Here are some ideas for conversation )
  • We had fun!  Often meals were themed for Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, April Fools Day, etc.  We looked for things to celebrate!  The food was coordinated for that holiday, as well as the table settings and centerpiece.
See?  It's not that things were so spectacular, but it was a regular part of family life that we looked forward to each day.  We were together, we shared a meal, and we made many memories at that table.  Yes, sir...those were are good times!  We still do those things, even though most of the time it's just me and my sweet hubby at the table!  I still believe that a way to a man's heart is through his stomach!  He is so sweet to appreciate the food and the setting, and we still go on making memories together, meal by meal.

What do you do to make mealtime memorable at your house?  Or what memories do you have from your table?

From our parsonage kitchen,


Whitney said...

I loved it when you made menus for nights we had a bunch of leftovers. Such a creative idea to make leftovers exciting. =)

Denise said...

I'd forgotten about that. Everyone thought they were getting "made to order" items, and I was simply emptying the fridge! Thanks for the reminder! I think I may have a menu in my hope chest...I'll have to dig it out!