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.
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.
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.
Every Sunday morning for as long as I can remember my Dad has made pancakes for everyone. It is the only thing he knows how to cook (besides bacon) and he takes great pride in it. I’ve spent evenings with him when my stepmother has been out of town and he would be like…” so i can make us some pancakes for dinner”. It’s really sorta sweet.
At some point along the way I started doing the same thing for my own family, a nice sit-down pancake breakfast. Sunday lunch and dinner are usually conducted as an in-house pot luck, eating whatever we end up bringing to the table. I look forward to our Sunday breakfasts. It’s the only meal 0f the week that I dont have to plan for. I know exactly what we are having and I enjoy making it. It is also the only day of the week that we can do breakfast together. The extent of our conversation depends on how long each of us has been up and how much coffee has been consumed beforehand. Even when we eat our pancakes in silence it’s just nice to be starting our day together, at the table.
Posted by Vivian
This Experimonth has been enlightening: it’s not hard to find people to join me for meals. When I don’t have someone to eat with, it’s because I choose to eat alone. There is always someone to eat with if I just ask, be it co-workers, friends or family. Now that I’ve actively been pursing finding some meal-time companionship I realize how important food is to the social make-up of society. Ok, I was aware of it, but I had never really thought it was important to my life. It’s probably similiar to having to learn from your own mistakes. I have learned that it’s probably one of the easiest ways for me to maintain/nurture/build friendships.
I know a lot of the bloggers were looking forward to Twenty-Eight Tables to converse and connect with their families. I basically just started blogging because a lot of the people who I really like were blogging. I’m not a grand thinker. I don’t analyze things (although I’d say I’m analytical at work so who knows). I wasn’t expecting to actually find myself really getting a lot of connections goin’ on. I’ve been eating lunch with co-workers that I haven’t spent time with in years. I’ve been spending more time with new and old friends. It’s just cool. I hope I keep it up.
Pizza and the game Puerto Rico with Amy and Boomer
Potluck with Beck and Allison
What happens when bloggers fight over table photos...
I seem to have fallen off the blog wagon. It didnt hurt, but I m having a hard time putting my thoughts together. It has been a very busy week.
Sunday involved an awesome potluck. The intent was to taste the stews and casseroles everyone brought and then fill up containers with everyone elses stuff so that you have an assortment of things to eat throughout the week. But…everything was so delicious it got gobbled up at the party. I sat at a table with my family and lots of people I had a great time getting to know. Recipes were exchanged and I will have to share a few here. And I scored the ONE album that has been missing from my collection for almost 10 years. Ive just been too cheap to buy it.
Monday my sister and brother came over for some non-vegan vegan lasagna. I subbed this tofu mixture for ricotta but used dairy cheese for everything else. It’s yummy. My bro and sis have been triangulating here with me for the past two years and have only gotten together once. Sister lives in CH and Bro lives in Raleigh, I live in Durham. It was really nice to have them over . We usually just get to hang out at family gatherings. It’s time to change that. Since our house is tiny we converted our laps into tables and ate in the livingroom. It was a lot of fun. Even my husband commented several times on how much he enjoyed having them over. We decided to make this a monthly event.
The last three nights were eat and run. Ive felt guilty about not being able to take my time and make a good meal with love. I truly believe in the passing along of emotions in cooking. We have been able to eat at our kitchen table and have had some really fun conversations, though. My husband is planning a big spring break trip, which has been the main topic of conversation lately. I had to make an exception last night due to my husbands preoccupation with Carolina basketball. He ate with friends and my daughter and I ate at home . We had pizza. She cracks me up. It was a gift eating together, hearing her funny stories about all the silly stuff she likes to eat (chocolate chip bacon?) and what she did that day. Being a working mom, it made me realize how much I really need to make more time for moments like that. Time to just soak her up.
Saturday I hope to make up for this weeks craziness. I want to take my time and plan out a really great meal for everyone, cook it with love, and eat it slow.
Posted by Vivina
Potluck at my house tomorrow at 6:30! Email me for directions and to let me know if you’re coming. Everyone’s welcome! vbragg at g mail .