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Dinner traditions


Sometimes something comes across my social media feed that really, truly speaks to me. This article from Serious Eats does just that.

“On my thirty-third birthday, I took to Facebook:

So here’s what Joe and I have decided to do, in my 33rd year, to make our lives happier: we are instituting a new tradition we call Friday Night Meatballs. Starting next Friday, we’re cooking up a pot of spaghetti and meatballs every Friday night and sitting down at the dining room table as a family—along with anyone else who’d like to join us. Friends, neighbors, relatives, clients, Facebook friends who’d like to hang out in real life, travelers passing through: you are welcome at our table. We’ll just ask folks to let us know by Thursday night so we know how many meatballs to make. You can bring something, but you don’t have to. Kids, vegetarians, gluten-free types, etc. will all be taken care of. The house will be messy. There might be card and/or board games. There might be good Scotch. You might be asked to read picture books. You might make new friends. We’ll just have to find out. This is our little attempt to spend more time with our village. You’re invited.”

Having dinner nights with friends has always been something I’ve wanted to do. I’ve always adored the idea of it, and I’m always envious when I see others are doing it with their own circle of friends. But it always seemed like something that would immediately fail – I tend to think the worst and therefore I assume that no one will want to come hang out with us.

Last month I invited my sister and her kids over for dinner. Nothing fancy – we grilled a whole chicken out on the charcoal grill and made potato wedges and I had purchased strawberries and angel food cakes for dessert. It was really casual and laid back and not fancy by any means. My sister even helped me make freezer enchiladas to have on hand for after the baby was born while we waited for the chicken to get done. Yesterday, a month later, my sister hosted. She made salad and some delicious baked chicken and brownies for dessert.  It’s far from the big group event the article reflects, but it’s our own little dinner tradition we decided to start up. Next month is my turn to host, and this time I’m inviting a friend from the neighborhood and her family, too – her son is my niece’s age so they’ll get to spend time together and have a little play date. It’s small, but it’s a start. And it gives me an excuse to host dinner and get together with friends. It might grow, it might not. But I kind of love what we have going.

I just have to decide what I’m going to cook for next month’s meal.

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