August 19, 2016
“What’s for dinner?” Oh, those words. I grew up in a house where dinner was always a chore. There was nagging to set the table. There was chicken with frozen vegetables, tuna on frozen bagels or frozen pizza. The food wasn’t bad – it just wasn’t, umm, good. My parents LOVED us, but my mom didn’t love cooking.
But how could she? My mom’s mom didn’t find joy in the kitchen. In fact, I don’t know to this day if my grandmother can do anything more than boil a frankfurter or eat some chicken salad out of a deli tub. But hey, they grew up in New York City. Not a lot of counter space, all ingredients needed to be carried home and, let’s be honest, the takeout is incredible.
Now, don’t get me wrong – my family loves food. In fact, I consider myself a foodie who has spent most of my career working on food brands. I have an adventurous palate and nothing brings me more joy than being the first to try a new restaurant in town and simply order: “Whatever you would recommend.”
And now, every evening, as a mom of two young boys (2 years and 5 months), “What’s for dinner?” feels different.
I married a man who believes food is love. Who finds peace in the mise en place before a meal. Who takes pleasure in plating a dish beautifully – just for the four of us. Who looks forward to Saturday breakfast all week long.
And it is starting to rub off on our son.
The cherry on top is that we signed up for a meal delivery service called Local Crate. It has changed our lives. (Sounds dramatic, but it is all truth.) We never have the dreaded conversations around what’s for dinner – dinner simply shows up on our doorstep every Monday afternoon. Our son helps us open the box and discovers the ingredients like he is unwrapping a present. He chooses the recipe for the night. He takes out his cutting board and his butter knife to help with the prep. He has become a master of the garlic press, a whiz at the lemon juicer and a pro at eating just the right amount of cheese without throwing the entire recipe off. It has taught him not only to love food, but an understanding of where it comes from and his role as a part of our family.
And to be honest, it has opened me up to the joy of cooking as well.
What’s for dinner? I’m excited to see…