Once upon a time, I was purely a restaurant eater, meaning I never kept food in the house/apartment and found my only sustenance at restaurants, 7-11s or by being invited to eat at someone’s house. I just never had the desire to drive over to the grocery store, fight the lines, get frustrated by the coupon-clipper/check writer/penny counter in line in front of me, and then come home to make something … from scratch? Egads! No way!
Well, I fear change but here’s one thing I changed fearlessly, with the help of my German husband, who taught me that eating at home is far, far, far more enjoyable than eating at a restaurant, keeps a relationship strong, saves money and can actually be amazingly fun. The fact that we take turns cooking makes it even more enjoyable.
Last night it was Christian’s night to cook, and he was really looking forward to making Köttbullar, or Swedish meatballs, with a Knorr brand mix he’d ordered from Germandeli.com, along with some plain boiled potatoes and a green salad with sliced green onions, sliced jalapenos and tomatoes. All he has to do is roll ground beef into balls, brown them, and then add cream, canned mushrooms, the Knorr mix and a bit of butter. Out of this world, insanely good, and really the best Swedish meatballs (other than his “step-dad” Uli’s, shhhhhh) I’ve ever had. We sat down at the table, listening to Loreena McKennitt, enjoying the sun setting behind the cottonwood trees outside the window. I thought about how, in restaurants, we don’t get to have the uninterrupted alone time together, how almost invariably one part of our order is wrong, or they “just ran out,” or quality just doesn’t reflect the prices.
Granted, a restaurant meal is fun, enjoyable and a good thing once or twice a week, as a special evening out or a nice lunch, but it really shouldn’t be the status quo for families. I grew up eating most of my meals in restaurants or on the run, but I don’t want my family to do the same. I want breakfast and dinner to be a family affair, just as it was for Christian growing up. In most German families (I am calling on my experience in Bavaria) ALL meals are shared together, and restaurants are for VERY special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and such. But a Friday night doesn’t necessitate going out to dinner, as it seems to do here.
I wasn’t lucky enough to have a family that got to eat together most meals, mainly due to scheduling, sports, etc., but it’s never too late to start that with our growing family.
Did you grow up eating all your meals at home, saving restaurants for very special occasions? Or were you raised on reservations?
And I leave you with a glimpse of my Gnome garden (the log brought home from our weekend in Cloudcroft. The corn from the fields in Rohr, Niederbayern, is taking off and will soon need to be set “free” in a much bigger container or even transplanted somewhere in a field (is that legal? Transplanting non-native corn? Lol), and my sweet peas may come up with something tangible to eat in the next month or two.
Also, our sunset last night. Wish we had underground telephone lines, but the sky is gorgeous nonetheless…