Friday, December 01, 2006
The Family Dinner
The Potato Eaters by Vincent Van Gogh
This painting is meant to evince the sentiment that the peasants who toil in the field are enobled by their labor and merit admiration for their efforts.
I am thinking about the family dinner and this seemed as good an image as any. Lately with a large family to serve dinner to, I have been thinking about how to make the family dinner "an event" to be looked forward to and profited from. A friend of mine who is raising 7 children (I think though I often lose count) said that she was trying to raise the level of their dinners by always using cloth tableclothes so that she did not feel she was "ladling out the slop" but was "serving dinner" in a worthy manner. Those words though of seeming inconsequence have stayed with me for years.
In the magazine, House & Garden I was reading about a book called: Perfect Tables: Tabletop Secrets, Settings, and Centerpieces for Delicious Dining" by William Yeoward. The pictures of the tables set look beautiful and imaginative. I like to use props from nature- spruce bows, pine cones, even fall leaves would be beautiful on the table.
The value to the family of dinner together is frequently hailed, even by the liberal media. If you need convincing or even encouragement go here and here.
As my older children near adulthood and independence, I treasure more and more each dinner together. Soon, like the mist that disappears soon after dawn they will be gone, grown and will have graduated from the family dinner.