Getting To Know Your Dining Table -- And Each Other
You know that piece of furniture in the kitchen or dining room with four legs and a couple of chairs tucked in around the perimeter?
Yes, that thing that doubles as a desk and a mail box and is in need of a good dusting, is called the dining table. It is the surface upon which we place our daily bread and at which we gather, sit down and eat. The problem is, we don't.
Come on. Be honest: How often do you sit down at the table for supper? Forget about breakfast, I already know the answer. It goes something like this, right?
Breakfast is for the weekends, y'all. I've got my sippy cup of coffee and a granola bar, which I'll tear into while swerving lanes and exercising my road-raged lungs.
And lunch, although it has at-table potential, how often does this really happen? Even I -- a work-at-home-gal in her pajamas -- am guilty of eating lunch at my desk. But why? And when did we give up mindful eating for multi-tasking shoveling?
As the day segues into evening, our attention shifts to dinner. Or not. When I was growing up, dinner was the one opportunity in the day to break from homework and jobs and laundry and meet each other at the table. Dinner was when we argued, pushed our food around the plate and reported on the news of the day, from book reports to flat tires. It was when we connected.
Over the last year, the daily work load has more than doubled at Casa Appetite, and more often than not, dinner is prepared by the seat of our pants -- and eaten in the living room with the television on. For the latchkey kid who was raised by television, this is a habit hard to break, and most of the time, I put the kibosh on the tube.
"Let's sit at the table instead," I'll suggest, and if he protests, I'll offer to eat Japanese-style on the living room floor, facing each other across the coffee table. Dinner is served, and the conversation magically begins to flow.
Imagine the possibilities if we all engaged in a little table talk. We might actually like it.
Today's Eco-Bite: Confused by the difference between organic and conventional produce? Check out these organic cheat sheets:
The Organic Center in Boulder, Colo. has compiled a pocket guide with its recommendations for conventional produce to avoid, and the Environmental Working Group's walllet-sized version offers both its "dirty dozen" (12 worst offenders) and the "cleanest 12," a list of conventional produce that consistently scores lower in pesticide residues.
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