Twenty-eight Tables Traffic Report

Weekly traffic pattern for Twenty-eight Tables

Weekly traffic pattern for Twenty-eight Tables

After 70 posts and 113 comments from 16 participants, Twenty-eight Tables received over 2,100 visits in one month.  The traffic spiked on February 3rd with 194 views in one day. sent the most visits our way.  Alpha Inventions, Google Reader and The Independent were other popular referrers.  The most popular post was the About page, followed by Shelly’s Family post, Beck’s Name That Dinner Club! poll and Robin’s Friends and neighbors.

The most popular outbound links were Allison’s Flickr photostream and the blogs of Erin and Anton.

Aside from the obvious I-already-know-the-blog-exists-but-I-can’t-remember-the-url searches, the following popular and/or peculiar Google searches landed folks  on this blog:

  • weird conversation topics
  • we can do it
  • funny conversation topics
  • dinner club names
  • conversation topics for children
  • “we can do it” poster for women’s lib
  • four layer cake
  • eating out dinner conversations
  • poopy lunch
  • “floor picnic” recipes
  • ideal meal to make for girlfriend first

Over 152 tags were used to describe our posts, moods and experience in 8 categories. Fourteen of the comments we received were Spam.  Authors posted accordingly:

  1. Erin H. – 13 posts
  2. Erin B. – 11 posts
  3. Beck – 9 posts (not inc. this one)
  4. Robin – 8 posts
  5. Morbo – 7 posts
  6. Vivian – 4 posts
  7. Allison – 3 posts
  8. Karen – 3 posts
  9. Anton – 2 posts
  10. Jules – 2 posts
  11. Shelly – 2 posts
  12. Tam – 2 posts
  13. Lisa – 1 post
  14. Matt – 1 post
  15. Melissa – 1 post
  16. Pat – 1 post

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Still Seated

by Erin H.

On dinner with Hubby:  There is a lot to be said for eating at the table.  Your conversation has a chance to venture into wild places, you learn more about the people you dine with (even after knowing them for 10 years!), and your food is not there just for sustinance, but to give your tongue enriching experiences.  Even with our busy lives, Evan and I make time to sit down and eat together.  Looking forward to it gets us through the day.  During the experiment, I was interested to see if making a conscious effort to sit down at dinner would really change our routine.  I was convinced that we already ate together every night, but sometimes you trick yourself into thinking one thing even when doing another.  But, I am happy to say that this part of the experiment was not difficult at all and I proved to myself that we have always been eating together and will continue to do so.

On dining with others: I loved that this experiment gave me an excuse to have dinner with others.  Growing up, I can’t say my family always had dinner guests, but with five loud, outgoing people, the table always seemed full and action-packed.  I miss the crazy of my family dining and inviting friends over for dinner takes me back just a little to those days.  Luckily, I was also able to spend plenty of time with family this month for various reasons, some good and some bad, so I was fortunate to revisit the full effect a couple times, too.  I would like to continue to share a table with people at least once a month, but I’m a little more outgoing than my other half, so there may have to be some convincing in order to keep it up.

On dining with myself:  I knew this goal was going to be my challenge, and it was.  Of the potential 20 weekdays I had to eat a meal by myself, I think I actually did it about 11 times.  55%…it’s a question of “glass half full/glass half empty”.  Is doing it eleven days great?  Or is a 55% rate of attempting something a failure?  It did become much easier to sit down with myself when the computer was on a separate floor and I even found myself eating breakfast in the kitchen yesterday.  I do enjoy the time that I have to sit and plan out the day or just watch the goings on outside.  I can see myself taking the time to eat breakfast at the table when I don’t have a million things I want to achieve that day.  And maybe if I give myself more chances, I might actually begin to quiet the to-do lists and listen to myself – something that never really occured this month.

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59 days down, 306 to go.

Posted by Beck Tench

Cheers, everyone!

Cheers, everyone!

February is over and I’m sad to see it go. The habit I hope we keep, more than eating together at the table, is prioritizing the time to talk with one another every night.

Here are each of our tables:

  1. Home – Polenta w/garlicky greens and asparagas
  2. Home – Chili cheese veggie dogs with onion rings
  3. Out – Thai Cafe just the two of us.
  4. Out – The Mint with our monthly dinner clug
  5. Home – Chili cheese veggie dogs with onion rings
  6. Out – Toast with friends from The Pinhook
  7. Home – “Sopa Seca” with guac and salsa and chips
  8. Home – Peanut tofu, sauteed kale, mashed potatoes and buttermilk biscuits
  9. Home – Leftovers (from tables #7 and #8)
  10. Out – Jason’s Deli, just the two of us.
  11. Out – Curried green beans, garbanzos and brown rice with Vivian
  12. Home – Chili cheese veggie dogs with onion rings
  13. Out(ish) – Quick quesadilla at home for Allison; Taco Truck w/Pinhook friends for Beck
  14. Home – Homemade pizza
  15. Home – Italian veggie sausages with peppers and onions and baked sweet potatoes
  16. Home – Leftovers from table #15 plus broccoli
  17. Home – Chili cheese veggie dogs with onion rings
  18. Home – Polenta w/garlicky greens and asparagas and mozzarella cheese with Beth and Morgan
  19. Out – Blue Corn Cafe, just the two of us.
  20. Home – Green Tango Salad for Beck; Leftover pizza from table #14 for Allison
  21. Out – Jason’s Deli, just the two of us.
  22. Home – Breakfast from Guglhupf before Beck’s flight to Ft Worth
  23. Dinner Apart – (Beck in Ft. Worth)
  24. Dinner Apart – (Beck in Ft. Worth)
  25. Home – Chili cheese veggie dogs with onion rings
  26. Home – Grilled cheese, tomato soup and green beans
  27. Out – Sitar Indian Palace with Shel and Melissa
  28. Home – Tempeh, potato and broccoli quesadillas

So, we ate 26 out of 28 dinners together, 17 of which were at home, 7 featured some sort of weenie, 6 were with friends, and 5 were new recipes.

Are you happy you did this experiment?

Without any hesitation, yes. In fact, I think I’ll feel good about this month for years to come.

How have you changed as a result of Twenty-eight Tables?

I realized that it’s easy to prioritize time with Allison every night and that having that time with her makes my whole day better. I also realized, more than ever, that we make a good team.

What was the best and/or worst meal during this experiment?

The worst meal was table #20. Allison was feeling poorly and I was feeling demotivated and the table nearly didn’t happen. But she made it easy to eat together instead of give up, so we did and I’m glad for it.

The best meal was probably the pizza. But it’s moments and personal revelations that stick out as “bests” more than any associated meal.

Will you continue eating dinner at the table every night?

No. Allison and I have deemed hot dogs, pizza and quesadillas as Simpsons’ watchin’ food. But we do plan to eat at the table a lot more than we used to.

Would you recommend others try this experiment?


Thanks to each of my co-experimenters. I hope your February was as special as mine.

p/s. Here are the candles we burned at each of our home-based meals:

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Bon Voyage!

Posted by Erin B.

I’m writing this quickly from the slow computer at the hotel our family has been staying at for the last two days in Miami. Shortly, we will go eat breakfast and then board a ship for the next 7 days. Whoo hoo! We left town Thursday morning, and the last two nights dinner together has been really fun and carefree. I’m much looking forward to dinner together these next 7 nights. Even though it will be back to normal schedule wise for me after we get back (meaning I’ll be missing a lot of family dinners), I’ve really enjoyed doing this experiment.

I’ll be missing the first week of it due to lack of interweb, but make sure to check out March’s experiment, The Eyes of March. Bon Voyage!

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What am i doing?

by Robeeno

Crap! What am I doing? I just caught myself breaking every single goal established here by me. Right here at the very end of the month.  It snuck up on me. It was over so quick!

The rest of my peeps left town at 4:30 pm.  I’m home alone, sick.  So in retrospect I feel like it’s ok to have scarfed down a spicy warm indian burrito on the couch with the TV on and computer humming.  I would have made terrible company tonight anyways.  And although I have some really good friends, I wouldn’t want to impose my current affliction on them simply to have dinner company. Plus, big confession here, I kinda liked it.

Ever since i was a kid being sick meant you got to break the rules.  My mom gave me soda for tummy aches, i could watch tv, and lay around on the couch.  I didnt have to join the family at the dinner table, although i missed it. Mom would also follow me around with a can of lysol.  Ha! Moms.  Anyways, it almost seemed natural to have had a night “off”.

Tonight’s dinner was preceded by a surprise dinner guest on Wed and a long awaited extended family dinner in Greensboro.  Every thursday night for at least the last 15 years my Great Aunt has cooked a BIG meal and anyone who can goes.  We average 10, and this includes cousins, parents, siblings, and family friends. I rarely get to go, but this month  i had to find a way. Conversation is always entertaining. This time we talked about chickens, the Oscars, India, and rediculous car accidents people have had.

Now Homey is telling me about the potential snow we may get on Sunday. I think I may have heard it like six times already.  It is definitely no substitution for real dinner company or conversation.

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by Erin H.

I have successfully been eating breakfast at the table with myself for the past four days!  I feel like this is a huge accomplishment.  I’ve been watching the birds out in the backyard and decorating the new house in my head.  I’m achieving a little bit of what I thought I would by finally taking the time to sit and eat by myself.

But I do wonder if this goal has been made easier now that there is  second floor that houses the computer.  In the tiny rental place we were stationed at, the computer was just about as far away from the kitchen as the table was.  It could also help that I have a backyard to look out over.  Before, it was look into the dingy kitchen, stare at the wall, or ogle my neighbor’s siding that was about 20 feet away.  Mmmm…new scenery and new beginnings.

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Spaghetti and a Little TLC

By Erin H.

Whew!  February is almost over and I still don’t know where the time went.  Weekend #1, we drove to northern Indiana for some weekend camping.  Weekend #2, we drove to Ann Arbor/Detroit to visit family.  Three days later I was back in the car headed to Kalamazoo for my dad’s birthday.  I came back the next day to get ready for our final move.  During the day and a half that I had to pack and get ready, I developed aches, chills, a fever and a killer headache.  So, not much packing got done and bedtime was early. That already brings us to last Friday night.   My parents and father-in-law came in to help us with the move.  I sat like a bum on the couch, glassy-eyed and with a little moaning, while everybody else enjoyed pizza and made a game-plan for Saturday.  The big day arrived (as did a winter storm) and we hauled and schlepped and heaved all day.  My parents took off that night and we went out to dinner with my father-in-law where we all sat around eating in silence, wallowing in our exhaustion. Bright and early the next morning Evan drove to Lansing to visit his grandmother who has been in the hospital for over a week.  He returned home that night only to have to go over to our well-meaning new neighbor’s house for dinner.  Needless to say, life has been busy.  (Though, through it all we’ve had every dinner at a table without much thought.) 

Last night was Evan and Erin’s first night alone in the new house.  No guests, no dinner invitations, no deadlines pressing.  We met at the old house as Evan was coming home from work. As we packed up the cars with our remaining odds and ends we made grand plans to get X, Y and Z done that night.  When we pulled up to the new house, Evan began unpacking the cars and I started dinner.  Dinner wasn’t fancy; I broke into our emergency supply of spaghetti.  When the pasta was ready and the faux-garlic bread done baking, I remembered the bottle of celebratory champagne that was still in our fridge.  Clearing off our small kitchen table we sat down with our warm, comforting spaghetti and glasses of bubbly.  We talked about the evolution of our housing together, how having cable after two months almost seems foreign, and a million other things that had nothingto do with moving.  We were slow to get up from the table.  Our plans of X, Y and Z became whittled down to: let’s just clear a path up the stairs before we go to bed.  The rest of our evening was slow, spontaneous and wonderful.  We both realized that though we had been in each other’s presence the past few days…weeks…month, we haven’t actually spent that much quality time together.  Last night’s dinner gave us a little bit of that TLC that we individually needed and that we needed together.  It’s amazing what a good meal (even a quick, easy one) can make you become aware of.

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