I’m so grateful to have grown up in (and taken for granted) a culture of family meals. My mum and dad just did dinner with us, they knew, without being told, how important it was. Now I get to start building a new family culture, a culture of service and love and sharing. A family culture of eating and sharing together. I’m excited, and (occasionally) a little daunted!
We may have got a little carried away in our tiny cabin and apartment kitchens but cooking together is so fun (at least, I think it is!). Some of our creations were a little creative but they filled and fed us and we shared being together at the table as a new family.
I hope and pray that there are many, many years more of shopping, preparing, cooking, laughing and ‘carrying on’ in the kitchen that culminate with sharing life and food at a table in this new family.
One of the first formal pieces of writing I came across to do with the significance of eating in community as family is this book; The Suprising Power of Family Meals by Miriam Weinstein and I would very happily recommend it. Full of research pointing to this as really, really integral part of family and community life – protecting against all sort of social brokenness caused by isolation – this book needs to become well read. The writer illustrates how family meals have been shown to be protective against risk taking behaviour (taking of drugs, participation in smoking and alcohol abuse, dieting … the list goes on and on) and helpful in forming deeper relationships and happier, healthier individuals and families.
It all starts at the table.
Mediterranean Vegetable Creations
Fish, salad and wedges
Lupin flour toast, pita crisps, cauliflower soup and sautéed vegetables
Cauliflower gnocchi (we got a little creative as we neared the end of our holidaying and our ingredients trying hard not to waste anything!