5 Tips for Blending Family Meal Ttime with Modern Living

September, 2011 · By Coryanne Ettiene

I grew up watching my grandmother work with food much in the same way an Alchemist works with potions–her food captivated, charmed and woo’d you to the table. She taught me to love food simply by watching her enjoy food.  And while I never took any interest in cooking as I child, when I became a mother, I drew inspiration from the time I spent in her kitchen.

When I started teaching my children to cook, I reflected on the lessons learned in my grandmother’s kitchen and used the familiarity of what kitchen skills I had to get them excited about food — saving the frantic unknown dishes that create mayhem in the kitchen for late night feasts with my husband (no need to torment the poor dears with bad language and kitchen disasters).  I want them to see the kitchen as a place for harmony, comfort and happiness, and to look forward to family meals, even if they don’t always look forward to what is being served.

Coryanne Ettiene for Idaho® Potato

For a multitude of reasons, modern living does not always allow for evening family meals each day of the week, however, when those moments do present themselves, it is a great opportunity to create the memories every kitchen table deserves by intertwining modern living and family time over a meal that everyone can be part of creating.  For 5 mid week meals that are family friendly and get children cooking, watch my new series for Idaho Potato here, and then get busy cooking together with these 5 tips.

  1. Serve a familiar dish.  Save the complicated culinary trials for Sunday afternoon when time is on your side and your adiance is in a more forgiving mood;
  2. Fill your kitchen before hand.  Get everyone involved in setting the table, there is no fun in shouting out “dinner is ready”;
  3. Never cook alone.  Even a toddler can butter bread, set the kitchen timer or mash potatoes with supervision;
  4. Use your best dishes.  Fruit salad tastes so much better in decorative goblets, and you will be amazed how quickly the peas disappear when they are served with an heirloom serving spoon.
  5. Leave your technology at the door.  Trust me, the world will continue to rotate if your phone is out of reach and your family is your focal point.



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