Sharing a meal is nourishment for the soul not just the body whether it’s hosting a dinner party for a dozen or sitting down for a family meal. Make sure to spend time together at the table with family and friends.
Dinner has the power to create family and community, whether the gathered are blood relatives, business colleagues or newfound friends. Simply put: Good things almost always happen when people share a meal. – Unknown
Sharing a meal forces a time out to nourish mind, spirit and body. If you consider all three then you realize how important it is and it doesn’t have to be dinner. Here are some ways to make it happen even if your budget or time is tight.
1. Picnic – If you are always on the run, make a meal to go. Pack it up and bring it with you to the beach, park, ball/soccer field or pool. Take a break and sit together to enjoy sandwiches, cheese, fruit, bread, fried chicken or whatever is handy to pack in your basket or cooler. The shade of a tree, a blanket and some delicious snacks will provide the perfect place to share your meal.
2. Brunch – If dinner parties are not in your budget, too time consuming or just not your style, try breakfast as the time of day to share a meal with friends and family. Sunday is a great day to invite the gang over for a pancake breakfast. This is a very inexpensive way to entertain a crowd and conversation over a few cups of coffee is a great way to catch up. Add fresh fruit, fun toppings, bacon or sausage if you wish and you will have a delicious meal for many. One of the perks of breakfast is that you and your guests still have the whole day ahead to enjoy any way you please!
3. Cocktails and Appetizers – When time is tight with the kids’ sports, your work, and the usually family obligations, just get together for a few hours (5pm – 7pm) and enjoy cocktails and some appetizers. This type of meal sharing can be very enjoyable. How many times have you heard someone say the best part of the wedding reception was the cocktail hour?
4. European Style Mid-Day Meal – Can’t make dinner work for the whole family? Then follow the lead from Italy, Spain, and Portugal and move dinnertime to lunchtime. It’s actually a healthier way to eat and may just be more practical for your lifestyle.
However you make time to eat, do it together regularly, and whenever you can open your table to friends and family. It’s an intimate and wonderful way to connect and stay in touch with the ones you love.