Thursday, March 1, 2012

family dinners

Ever since I started a normal job, Feraz and I have been trying to have family dinner together every night. It is so nice to sit down at our table and catch up on our day and to enjoy the delicious foods we've made for each other. Except something we want to watch will be on. Or one of us will have something we want to do on the computer. Or we get home at different times becuase of various commitments or errands.

Wouldn't you want to have dinner with this guy every night?

Despite the little bit of extra effort we have to make, we are both trying to stay committed to family dinners. Sitting down for dinner is not only good for relationships but I also think it helps us enjoy our food more. I hate eating a meal in front of the TV and ten minutes later having an empty plate and not having any recollection of having eaten. We still get through a meal pretty fast but we always end up talking about what we are eating, what we enjoy the most and what we are looking forward to making.

Tuesday Dinner

I have also been reading about family breakfasts. Since people's schedules are more varied as the day goes on, sometimes families find it easier to come together in the morning. When I used to work crazy hours, Feraz would wake up at five or six in the morning just so we could have a cup of tea together and have a little time to chat. I think moving the quality meal time to the morning is a great solution for people with crazy schedules. Although, I also think you should step back and think about your lifestyle if your schedule is consistently too crazy to have dinner with your family.

Wednesday Dinner
From a preparation perspective, making dinner each night doesn't have to be too time consuming. Both our Tuesday and Wednesday dinners took less than 20 minutes to prepare. For the Tuesday dinner, we ate food that we had prepared during the weekend for the week. Feraz made the chicken and okra and I made the kidney beans and peppers. For last night's meal, I wanted something cozy since it had been raining all day. I whipped up some daal, baked potato and salad in about 15 minutes.

Fake-Bake Potato:
  • Take two large potatoes and put two knife cuts in them so they don't explode in the microwave.
  • Put in microwave for nine minutes eighteen seconds.
  • Take them out and allow to cool for a minute or two. 
  • Peel and serve with seasoned salt.
Fast and Dirty Daal:
  • Bring 3 cups of water to a boil.
  • Rinse one cup of lentils and add to boiling water.
  • Leave heat on high. Stir occasionally.
  • Fry one large chopped onion, (I cut a huge bag of onions on the weekend so I have it ready to go for fast meal prep.) one chopped green chili, 1/2 tablespoon garlic ginger paste, 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin, 1/2 tablespoon turmeric, 1/2 tablespoon chili powder, 1/2 tablespoon salt. (Adjust spices to taste, as necessary.) 
  • Once well cooked, stir into the lentils.
  • Slice one persian cucumber for each plate. 
Do you have family dinners? How do you make it work? Do you feel like it makes your family closer to have them?


  1. delicious-looking! we try to eat together as a family but invariably start and finish at different times - i can wolf down my food in 10 minutes while zp can take an hour. tp and i love to cook but the kids are not interested in any of our fancy dishes and are happy with pb sandwiches or pizza. meanwhile, my friends' kids are busy gobbling up sushi and pho and VEGETABLES! I KNOW! my only hope is that they learn to love exotic foods as they grow up (i certainly cannot blame their pickiness b/c i was the same) and join us in eating the same foods at the same time.

  2. I think having kids is going to be a total game changer. Especially when they are young. But all these studies show that kids who have family dinner together are less likely to use drugs, engage in risky sexual behavior, etc. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that the types of families that sit and have a meal together are probably also the type that are more involved in their kids lives overall.

  3. I'm going to have to try the potatoes.. everything else is too complicated for me..

    1. Shariq, You could definitely make the daal! It is mostly just boiling too. And you can actually throw in just about anything and it will taste good.

  4. Sweeet. You should post more about food. I need ideas for quick stuff... I hate fast food but get it so often..

    Let me know what you think of the stuff I've posted so far here - since you and Feraz lived in Turkey it'd be nice to hear your comments.


    1. Shariq, I'll do a post about how to set up a system to cook easily at home. I think once you have the basic set up going, then it becomes much easier.


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