Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Dinner

A scene Norman Rockwell remembered to paint... What a surprise to open the New York Times this morning and see their Sunday magazine devoted to the premise Eating Together and that the food revolution is actually a story about savoring community, or as the author Christine Muhlke shorthanded in the The Way We Live Now column, "comm". It's as if they've been ghost-following Guy Meets Tabletop... hmmm!

There is an interview with environmental activist Laurie David , who has written a new book The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect With Your Kids One Meal at a Time. In the brief question and answer by Deborah Solomon, Ms. David says that while raising two teenage girls is unbelievably challenging, she still makes time for family dinners. She makes the distinction that while she makes dinner, she's not a short-order cook. She makes dinner for the family, not individuals and that her kids eat what she eats. As for dealing with technology at the table, if she sees a cellphone, she takes it. They have to hand the phone to her. I have to say, I love a set of rules. This is why I've focused my effort and attention on the dining room. This is the room where community (comm!) is built.

When asked about whether this may be a class issue (Ms. David is the ex-wife of Larry David of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, and has an organic farm on Martha's Vineyard) she disagrees. Family dinners can be had with takeout, or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The conversation at the table is just as important as the food.

Her book is, as Ms. Solomon suggests, a cross between a cookbook and a parenting manifesto. The book comes out November 3 and is on pre-order from Amazon.


  1. I'm not very good about the whole family dinner thing, but I've been cooking more often lately and making the boys sit down and eat, and it's been nice!

  2. As with most things today, if it's not scheduled, it probably won't happen as often as you'd like... start with one night a week- no ifs, ands, or buts! Maybe it's the same meal (perhaps your boys' fave) that gets served- anything that makes it easier on you. And as Laurie David pointed out, set down the rules of how you want this to go down. Parents are always surprised to find that kids actually like and respond positively to boundaries if they are made aware of them before finding out that they've crossed them! Keep us posted!