Category Archives: Recipe

Scenes from the dinner table, and in turn, my life

Posted by Erin B.

Last night like magic the family all converged at 6pm in the kitchen. I had come home from work at 10 ’til, and had just come downstairs from changing when my dad walked in the door. My little brother and sister cleared and set the table while my mom cooked and my dad gave us a visual run through of his workout that day which, if viewed through the window without context, would have looked like a large muscular man doing an interpretive dance. On the stove was one of my favorite soups ever that is a regular at my family’s table, but that I haven’t had in a long time due to my frequent food experimentation and busy schedule. At dinner, among other things, we discussed food and my theories of food being magically delicious. See, I have this theory that if something is magically delicious, not just delicious but a level above delicious, to the point where it is inexplicable, then it contains: cream, butter, and/or fish sauce (I’m debating whether or not cream cheese should be its own category or a sub-category of “cream”). My family agreed with my theory, and we shared anecdotes about when we’ve found this to be true. Dinner lasted about 45 minutes, and I rushed off to job#2 feeling like my day was suddenly well-balanced.

Tonight was the same. We all magically converged in the kitchen at 6. There was no interpretive dancing, but dinner was delicious again and we spent it laughing and talking about our plans for the rest of the week. I find myself really looking forward to dinner during the middle of my day. I haven’t even been asking what my mom is making because I like the surprise, and these days I like just about anything. I’m in it for the company anyway.

After a long full day, I again feel well balanced. A break in between jobs, even just an hour, is strangely rejuvenating. But now I am tired, and I will leave you with quote that my dad just now said, and the disturbing mental image that goes along with it: “I have to go suckle on the teat of sleep.”



Filed under Conversation Topics, family, Recipe

Yummy food

Posted by Karen

For me, a big advantage of this experiment is that everyone knows when dinner is. Usually I’m texting my husband throughout the afternoon to triangulate when he’ll be home. It’s nice to be able to plan exactly when we’re eating and to actually have everyone show up at that time.

Shrimp was on sale at Harris Teeter, so Wednesday night that meant Coconut Shrimp Soup, a favorite of ours. Tonight was tuna steak (also on sale at the Teet) with a side of Spicy Peanut Noodles. I try new peanut noodle recipes every couple of weeks, and this version was one of my favorites. Here it is:

Spicy Peanut Noodles
1/3 cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup natural chunky peanut butter (Trader Joe’s is good)
3/4 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1–2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (depends on how spicy you like it)
1 clove garlic, minced (this makes it extra garlicky, so omit if you’re alliumphobic)
10–12 ounces dry pasta (linguine, soba noodles, whatever)
3 green onions, sliced

Whisk together the first seven ingredients. Cook and drain the pasta. Combine noodles, sauce, and green onions in a large bowl.


Filed under Recipe


Posted by Erin B.

Yesterday, due to SuperBowl events, my family partook of 28Tables lunch style. We had a delightful gathering at Briggs. It was breakfast for lunch that was supposed to be dinner.

Tonight my dad was out of town, so it was just me, my mother, and my little bro and sis. My mom wanted some gym time, so I volunteered to stop by the store after job#2 to pick up some things and make a rock-awesome stir-fry for dinner (I now declare that all adjectives that come before stir-fry must also be hyphenated for effect). When it comes to things like kick-ass stir-fry and pasta sauce (which will surely be making an appearance next time it’s my night to cook), I go a little crazy. I like a lot of things in my food stuffs.

A picture tour of the food preparations:

Dinner break down:

Playlist while cleaning kitchen/making dinner included selections by: Cake, Elvis Costello, Uncle Tupelo, Indigo Girls, Rihanna (you can stand under my um-ber-ella, ey ey ey), Cobie Caillat, Missy Higgins, Amy Ray, Sting, The Refreshments.

Ingredients for crazy-super-yums stir fry included selections of: mushrooms, carrots, red onions, red peppers, baby bok choy, zucchini, squash, green beans, cilantro, pineapple, garlic, noodles, and store-bought stir-fry sauce.

Cost: Surprisingly inexpensive. We had a lot of the ingredients, so the total came to about $11. For feeding 4 people, plus left overs for my dinner tomorrow, that’s pretty dang good (that’s not including the wine my mom picked up on her way home).

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The First Table

Day one of twenty-eight.

Day one of twenty-eight.

The attention Allison and I gave our dinner yesterday was exceptional.  First, we spent nearly an hour earlier that day discussing how we would handle situations like Superbowl parties, work travel, fire pits and musical accompaniment.  Second, we decided to make two dishes from The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook that we’d never made before: Polenta with Garlicky Greens and Gratinéed Asparagas with Parmesan. Third, we broke out a bottle of good wine – 2003 Mt. Jagged Shiraz (Allison displaying, Beck displaying) – which is something we don’t do enough.  Fourth, we ate by candle light, which is something we do about as often as we break out the good wine (in fact, the two events probably always occur in tandem).

It was a fantastic dinner and a good pairing.  We had a very lengthy meal and conversation — about an hour and a half.  Juice only interrupted once.

I found myself looking forward to talking to Allison tonight during my workday today.  I was comforted by the fact that we have reserved time together.  There’s nothing keeping me from doing that on any night, but it feels different to me because we’ve booked the time.


Filed under Recipe, Table Report