In The Kitchen
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Dinner at Home

With this month’s theme of “Hearth and Home, ” I thought I would share with you some of the best ways to encourage a warm and welcoming environment through the evening meal.  Whether you are a family of two or twenty, dinner around the table is so important.

Mary Chambers in her book “Breakfasts, Luncheons and Dinners: How to Plan Them, How to Serve Them, How to Behave at Them” (1864) writes of the importance of dinner as a family.

“The home dinner should be the most enjoyable of all the meals.  Breakfast, at is best, is only a prelude to the work of the day; at luncheon only the stay-at-home members of the household are present; but dinner sees the family complete, and the stress of the day over and done with.  This should bring the feeling of leaser and freedom from care which makes for pleasant conversation and for lingering over the meal to listen to good stories and to contribute them.  To save up for diner-time all the good jokes, all the interesting incidents, should be made one of the family habits.  Enjoyment and laughter promote digestion and assimilation.

A well-planned family dinner provides something which is specially relished by everybody, and its menu should be considerate of every individual’s tastes, so that nobody may be able to say: “There is nothing I like!”  To provide for each and all in this way does not demand a great deal of variety; it demand only the thought and affectionate consideration which makes homemaking a labor of love, and one of the pleasantest tasks in the world.”

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But living in this, often, fast-paced world, one can experience challenges in creating a tasty and fun-filled dinner for the family every night.

So I did a bit of research of the subject and found some wonderful ideas and recipes!

1. Moms Who Think has a great system of weekly menus that provide a variety of options at various skill levels.

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Image from Moms Who Think

2. If the above article from 1864 didn’t convince you of the importance of eating together as a family, check out The Family Dinner Project.  It also gives plenty of ideas for conversations and fun!FamilyDinnerProjectWebsite

3. Want to get the family more involved?  Try having “themed” dinners.  Choose a time period, a culture, or a place and create a meal that is unique and one-of a kind.  Check out The Food Network for some fun ideas!

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Happy eating everyone!

~Aimee

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