“All great change in America begins at the family dinner table.” Ronald Reagan
“Throughout his teachings, Jesus used food and feeding others as images of what it means to follow Jesus and to serve Him well. ‘Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time?’ Jesus asks his disciples. ‘Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing.’ (Matthew 24:45).
Serving God faithfully, these words suggest, is like feeding a household, it is a daily responsibility that requires attention and diligence and that brings blessing on the one who does it faithfully.”
~ Margaret Kim Peterson in Keeping House
“Staying with my Grandma Allen for weeks at a time during summer vacation, I remember fabulous bread and butter pickles, vegetable relish, mince meat pies, and, of course, fried chicken. At least once while I was there, Grandma would start the day by asking if I would like to have fried chicken for supper. When I replied with a resounding “yes”, she sharpened her butcher knife and headed out the back door to the barn yard.
I watched from the window as she chased down the fattest hen and, in one swift swing, had it bobbing headless along the sidewalk. She then scooped it up and marched to the shed where she plucked and cleaned it in short order. I was always somewhat horrified and a little sad but those thoughts disappeared as soon as the aroma of that chicken frying in pure lard rose from her old cook stove. Mashed potatoes piled high, butter drizzling down the miniature white mountain and topped with milky chicken gravy were the centerpiece of dinner. Pickled beets, garden grown tomato slices, and baking soda biscuits completed the meal. And we washed it all down with iced tea in state fair glasses. Long into the night I could smell that savory fried chicken and wondered how she did it. I was certain the secret was all in the faded bib apron that was the necessary part of her daily uniform!” ~ thatmom in The Campbell Women Cookbook
“Everything really great begins with garlic. Except maybe chocolate chip cookies.” ~ Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman
Children need the comfort of having a family meal time where the food is nutritious, delicious, and almost as satisfying as the conversation around the table. In our American culture, people eat meals in between their other activities; it is the half-time refreshment. We have much to learn from other countries where the meal is the main event and begins with choosing the best ingredients and preparing the food in the kitchen, often together as a family. The culmination is the relaxed time of eating and discussion, the coming together after a long day, each sharing their own day’s experiences.
As my children began leaving home, I realized that there had always been a certain comfort for them around the table. They had counted on the fact that, no matter how bad the day had been, supper time would be spent enjoying a meal mom had prepared with them in mind and that we would all be together. And that relaxing time was spent talking and listening to each other, laying the groundwork for greater talking and listening yet to come.
A very important part of feeding our children is making a space for those great thoughts and exchanges to take place, an opportunity for children to stretch their ideas and impressions in a safe and relaxed environment while the whole family is participating in something they enjoy. I believe that space is found at the family dinner table.
There are many recipes sprinkled throughout this blog so I have listed and linked to them for your convenience.