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A Dinner Epiphany

The evening I realized that having regular family dinner in my house had been one of the best things I had done as a parent, was a true epiphany for me.  My passion for rituals in general, and family dinner specifically, had served me well over the course of raising my children and now that they were teenagers I was really reaping the benefits. And despite busy schedules, hectic lives and teen angst, everyone knew they had to show up for dinner. That hour belongs to us as a family.

That very night The Family Dinner book was born.

You see, everything I care about crosses the dinner plate.  I care about raising healthy, self-confident, polite, open-minded children.  I appreciate food and I care about and respect the earth that provides it.  I’ve been lucky in life and it’s important to me to have a regular dose of gratitude. And it is really, really important to me to have meaningful connections with my family and my friends.

Of course, I didn’t do it alone. Since it doesn’t take a village, but actually two villages to raise kids, I am so grateful to all the wonderful teachers, advisers, inspirations over many years. Kirstin is one of those. That woman can turn a pat of butter into something beautiful and artistic. Together she and I have been playing with the art of family dinner for quite a few years now.  And it is an art. That has been our approach and that is the philosophy that has prevailed as we continue to come up with delicious, fun and easy ways to make this time of the day everyone’s most nutritious, inside and out.

Dinner is a daily opportunity that is so much more than the simple act of eating. Food should be savored, conversation created and lingered over, gratitude expressed, green values recognized, manners taught, stories told. It’s the combination of all of the above that creates family memories to last a lifetime.

For us, it’s been a revelatory process changing picky eaters into quinoa and kale eaters; transforming quiet & awkward tables into lively ones; going from a meat-based diet to a predominantly veggie-based diet; from buyers of produce to growers of produce; from wasters to recyclers and lovers of composting (yes, you heard me right!).  We’ve been through it all.  We know how to make something delicious from the ingredients in your pantry.  We’ve learned how to turn a typical Tuesday with just peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner into a terrific Tuesday that your children will remember.  (Hint:  take your peanut butter and jellys and make a picnic on the living room floor)

We are both so excited and passionate about the subject and really can’t wait to share with you what we know and learn what you know. Together we will have some truly rocking family dinners to share on The Family Kitchen. -Laurie and Kirstin


GIVEAWAY ALERT:

Just to show you how excited we are to be a part of The Family Kitchen, we’re giving away personalized bookplates for any Babble.com reader who would like them.

All you have to do is buy a copy of The Family Dinner and simply send an email to: dawn@thefamilydinnerbook.com with a subject line “BOOKPLATES PLEASE!”

You must include your address and the names of the people you are gifting the book to.

Laurie & Kirstin will then sign the bookplates, which can be adhered inside the book–perfect for a special, personalized holiday gift!

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