I grew up in a home where every night the whole family sat down for dinner. It was our time to reconnect, check in, and enjoy my mom’s great cooking. I never questioned this ritual. I thought everyone grew up this way. Still, I resisted any invitation from my mother to actually learn to cook. I could make fudge (somehow I have the gift of making sugar dissipate), but I never experimented in the kitchen.
So when it was time for college, I sustained on a solid diet of Special K, Captain Crunch, and eating out. Sushi from Target was a weekly staple. When friends came to visit, we would try out a new happy hour. In fact, staying in and cooking a meal together never crossed our minds. I really am not sure why either. My parents are fairly social so I grew up around dinner parties and cookouts. Yet when it was my turn to entertain guests, I took them out for burgers. All this eating out was expensive. And while I made an effort to make healthy selections, all of these meals could be prepared with healthier substitutes at home. I was becoming more removed from knowing what food I was putting into my body.
And I am tired of being reliant on trendy restaurants for my sustenance. I don’t want to yell over loud music during a conversation with my friends. I don’t want to feel restricted to talking only to the people to the left and right of me at a table. I say bring back the dinner parties. The home cooked meals. I want to earn the food I am putting into my body. Know what ingredients went into my meal. I think it’s time for me to work for my calories. It’s time for a change in how we think about dinner time with our family and friends.
Let’s start eating in.