Here is a simple truth: Dinner spreads love. That is one of the great motivations for starting and maintaining this ritual, and it’s one of the main reasons why, nine times out of ten, people grin ear-to-ear when recalling childhood family dinners. Food pioneer Alice Waters put it perfectly when she said: “My mom wasn’t a very good cook, but one of my fondest memories is of being three and watching her in the kitchen with a big pot of boiling apples. I couldn’t wait to eat that applesauce. It’s a pure love memory.”
When everyone is involved in the meal, they become invested in it in a new way, and are more excited to sit down and have fun. Together, we will reconnect with our kids, eat delicious food, laugh, cry and do it all again tomorrow! Together, one meal at a time, we can make family dinner the regular ritual it was always meant to be. So: what’s for dinner?
Here are 3 recipes from Laurie that include what kids can do to help:
What is a perfect dinner on a cold October night? Tortilla soup! But it’s also the perfect dinner on a hot summer night, when you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. Make the soup and, while it is simmering, arrange the toppings into bowls or on a large platter. (The latter makes the cleanup quicker, but if your kids are doing the dishes, go ahead and use a lot of little bowls.) When dinner is ready, serve the soup and let everyone heap on their own toppings. Some will be spicy, some will be cheesy and yours will be just right.
Here is a great quick dinner with no “cooking” involved. Just throw all the ingredients together and put them in bowls on the table. Let your family “stack” their own tostadas.
At the table, fill lettuce leaves with flavorful minced chicken, vegetables and pieces of torn herbs. Add a squeeze of lime or some peanut crunch, and roll it up.
Excerpted from The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time by Laurie David with recipes by Kirsten Uhrenholdt. Copyright (c) 2010 by Hybrid Nation, Inc. Used by permission of Grand Central Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.
For more on Laurie David’s family dinner philosophy, go to The Family Kitchen.