It all comes down to balance. And sometimes a car wash.
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The dinner table is a battle zone.
Though lasagna itself is technically a one-potter, and we all love a good One Pot Wonder, there are a few steps here and it is a little labour intensive. The final result is, however, very much worth it.
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A recent study calling family dinners 'elitist' and 'unrealistic' has ruffled some feathers. I don't think family dinners or home cooking for one or more is elitist and unrealistic, but I do think that we have to temper our expectations of ourselves down to what is doable under the circumstances of our lives.
Do regular family meals really make for happier families and well-adjusted kids, or is it simply that happy families with well-adjusted kids are more likely to have regular family meals? That's the question sociology researchers Anne Meier and Kelly Musick set out to answer.
My kids are the worst eaters. Really. Some people say this, and mean that their kids don't eat raw sushi, or whole wheat pasta, or offal. That's not what I mean. I mean that in my house, bacon is a food group. I mean that my kids don't eat pasta, period. I mean that they only accept pepperoni pizza from one delivery joint. It's serious.
Families that eat together, stay together. How often do you enjoy family meals at your home? With long commutes and kids' activities, it's easy to see why eating together can take a back seat. So why are family meals important? The benefits go beyond health.
Technology has invaded our dinner space with television, tablets, and of course the constant use of smartphones, with email and texting. Eliminate the distractions and start talking. Mom and dad need to be the role models for this behaviour, so put away the phone before you sit down at the table, and make it a family rule.
This is the tale of a persnickety young boy who seemingly detests the beautiful, seasonal vegetables his mother places before him each night at dinner. One day his brilliant mother decides that instead of fighting with him, she's going to turn each of the ground-grown foods he bellyaches about into a pureed soup.
The turkey itself was an awe inspiring thing, huge, naked and -- quite frozen. With only 18 hours to go before Thanksgiving dinner we hadn't really thought that one through. Who knew that turkeys don't melt in a matter of hours?
It is imperative that you dress appropriately for turkey dinner. I don't know about your bunch, but the people in my family literally salivate in anticipation of turkey, and unless you're prepared with an elasticized or drawstring waistband on your pants, the price tag for the ensuing gluttony can be serious discomfort.
While I'm against force-feeding, I am a firm believer in the one-bite rule. Two or three would be preferable, but one will suffice. In my experience, what starts off as one usually ends up as three or four or even 10, eventually. And the less fuss I make about these bites, the more likely they are to be taken.