Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Solistice; Family Meals

The summer solstice is upon us and there is already a notable change in dynamics for family meals. Though NYC public schools are still in session, record breaking temperatures and longer days of light have already had  an effect our dinner table. Summertime is a great time for family meals, in part because schedules are more relaxed and easy meals are welcome. Kids are tired and hungry after camp and outdoor play (hopefully) and seem more willing to eat just about anything. Perhaps it's that the summer favorite foods of BBQ and lots of fruit are just more appealing to kids and adults alike.

The other night we had a funny dinner dilemma that was related to the seasons. I wanted to just have appetizers and salad for dinner; it was in the 90s and so hot in our un-air conditioned house. My husband wanted to have something more “real.” I guess you could say we compromised. I put out some fresh mozzarella and a loaf of baguette with some salami and olives. Life was good as I had just went grocery shopping at the Food Coop. The kids devoured the spread while my husband and I nibbled and chatted about the day. We discussed whether this would be enough for dinner. He and my teenage son said decidedly “NOT!” So my husband then made a Chinese eggplant dish with rice, feeling emboldened to make it extra spicy since the more finicky eaters had already had eaten a good deal of the "first course." He is a big believer in spicy food on hot day.

The point is that this summertime dinner was very fluid, very relaxed. The kids’ bedtimes have been creeping later, though sometimes resulting in tears of tiredness. We are more ready to offer ice cream or fruit juice pops for dessert, as they both cool down and help round out lighter meals (or meals that they won’t really eat.) That’s what summertime is all about. If the hectic schedules have been holding you back from family dinner, use the summertime as a good time to experiment. Try a quick meal or an expanded, grazing one. Use this time of more daylight as an excuse to "do less" while getting more out of family dinner. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.