History is something we should never forget. It speaks to where we’ve come from and reminds us of things that should not be again. Sometimes we’re reminded of things that should be again! This week has been so fun–photographing our family dinner and reading through what a family might have eaten all those years ago. I can’t help but think they must have been so full they couldn’t breath; and what did they do with all those left overs? Lunch the next day perhaps? Maybe it was shared with a neighbor or given to someone in need. One thing’s for sure, there was a lot of cooking going on! So much I thought it might be hard to digest (see what I did there?). So this little chart came to life. A snapshot of what was for dinner then and now the first week of January.
Family Dinner Then and Now
It was interesting to note how different the dynamics of dinner really are. For instance we do eat leftovers at least once a week for dinner (and more often for lunch) and cook significantly less items. I wonder if our main dish portions are much larger to make up for the lack of variety? We also take advantage of fast food on occasion. As a young family living on one income, budget is usually in the front of my mind. So if there’s a fast food meal deal that costs us less than $1.50 per person we go for it!
The Cooks of the Past
Impressed is a word I give past cooks. It was incredible the sheer amount of cooking that was accomplished for each meal, but a bit shocking to note how the cooking was done. Ladies and gentlemen, we have quickly become accustomed to our modern way of cooking. Chefs not too long ago had some difficult requirements to get dinner on the table.
Let’s take for example January 5th’s dinner. “If young chicken leave on feet, which should be scalded and skinned; if an older bird, cut off legs half-way to first joint…” Oh my! I may have fainted for a second. This is not something I’ve ever witnessed. Ladies from earlier generations, please share a story or two! It truly fascinates me to think of how one would go about cutting an old bird’s legs half way up! I simply pull the nicely cut chicken breast out of the package and make my fajita chicken in 30 min or less. What a difference almost 100 years makes.
The Cooks of Today
In our family, dinner is thought of about an hour before time to eat. Of course I plan in order to grocery shop and make sure we have what’s needed to get through the week. Before this week I would complain regularly about the time and planning required for this part of each day.
However, reflecting on the past has caused me to change that attitude a little (woe is me still creeps in on occasion) and gratitude is taking it’s place. I want to enjoy the gift of convenience and use the extra time I didn’t realize I had with family. I want to be grateful for the nights that friends share a meal with us. This week we had the pleasure of a neighbor coming and bringing the main dish, Shepherds Pie. What a gift that was.
Or the night our friends called and said they wanted to share their extras with us. Let me note this was a special treat as this friend is truly gifted in the kitchen. We couldn’t get enough of the tasty flavor and were honored that they chose to share with us.
A Sweet Ending
As I remember even the short history of this week, I am reminded of kindness and happiness that was shared each evening. Dinner was a time to look each other in the face. To smile. To be thankful. That’s one reason we love upcycling so much. With each piece we see history. We see something forgotten, remembered once again.
Share some of your memories from the week. Something you are happy to remember.