Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dinner time

The new rule in our house - no distractions during dinner. The TV is off, no work is allowed. We sit and eat our dinner like civilized people (even if we are on the couch or the floor). We catch up on our days, we talk about things that are coming up. For such a little step, it's amazingly refreshing.

gyoza
{gyoza}

This was always supposed to be the rule in our house, but we'd gotten busy and lazy and tired and let ourselves slip out of it. You know how sometimes you come home and you're just too worn out from your day to even want to talk about it? That was happening too often.

wine + cheese + olives
{wine + cheese + olives}

It's a good reminder that nothing just happens. D and I have been together for years, so it's easy to take our closeness for granted and sometimes that's just fine and even exactly what we need. But we have to remember that relationships (including friendships) aren't static - they constantly change and evolve and that's the best part. We have to stay active and interested in the process. I have friends from all stages of my life, which is wonderful, but it takes effort. Fun effort that I wouldn't trade for anything else, but effort nonetheless.

pesto!
{pesto!}

When it comes to the most important things, you just can't afford to be lazy. At least, not all the time.

32 comments:

  1. You have inspired me! My fiance and I have different work schedules and only eat dinner together 1 or 2 days a week. Why wouldn't we connect to each other rather than the TV or Blackberry? From now on-table dinners with laughter instead of TV chatter! Thank you!!

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  2. This is a really nice post. And encouraging that other couples go through the same thing regarding routine.

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  3. i love this. my fiance is really great about us sitting down together every night for dinner no matter how crazy the day. and work talk is banned from the house! {this is a toughie} it really is amazing how fruitful and relaxing a simple dinner can be :)

    thank you.

    xo,
    sylvie of silver lining

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  4. Aw, I love that. You guys are great.

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  5. ever since you mentioned that you turn off the tv while you eat dinner, we've been doing the same. it's so nice that such a small gesture can make such a huge impact. such a lovely post. x

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  6. i can remember there are times i wished i had that habit when i would see his eyes slide off to the left, even during the most stressful of talks. great advice.

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  7. i don't feel like it's the sitting down to dinner together that's the issue in my home...it's that dinner takes about five minutes to eat and then it's over. anyone else feel that way?

    dinner is more special when we cook together and have time to connect and chat while we work. luckily grilling season is starting up again, which means i can get him to help cook most nights.

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  8. such a simple gesture yet it makes such a difference. love these dinner photos, i'm now seriously craving gyoza.

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  9. We had been doing better about getting into this groove, and then our dining room light broke. Sigh. We're back in front of the stupid TV.

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  10. It's very simple and I think it's great. My mother always insisted that we do this, when I was growing up, and I'm happy we did and still do.

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  11. @ Julia - We tend to eat a lot slower when we are talking instead of watching TV. I love cooking with D, but our schedules don't always permit it, so we probably only cook two nights a week and the other nights we eat leftovers that we heat up quickly or we rely on various frozen stuff from TJs. If we each have a beer as well we can easily linger over dinner for 45 minutes to an hour.

    @ Mouse - um, we actually still eat in front of the TV, at our coffee table, 9 times out of 10. We have just stopped turning it on. We have a beautiful dining room table, but somehow we always end up eating on the floor or the couch.

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  12. Great post! My husband and I walk home from work together so that time is usually our talk about our day time. And once we get home we just fall into whatever needs to be done around the apartment or goofing around on the interwebs and then eating dinner in front of the TV. But I think I'm going to try to stop turning the TV on during dinner. It would be a nice time for us to visit even more.

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  13. This is lovely. One of the things I find most difficult about living alone is eating alone. A lot of the ceremony goes out the window and it's something I get through just to refuel and get back to work. I love that you are both able to pause and enjoy it as something more!

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  14. Such a great reminder. We're constantly reminding ourselves that we eat dinner together, sans distraction. We always wonder if it will ever become a habit. Also, those gyoza look delicious!

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  15. wowza those dumplings look great. my man and i are so guilty of tv-watching during dinner. thanks for the reminder to try something different--like talking! : )

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  16. I adore your blog. You always have lovely pictures.

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  17. thanks for sharing that -- such true words! talking becomes such a challenge when you live together (ironic, huh?). it definitely requires intentionality!

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  18. I agree that it is so important to nurture the most important relationships in your life. Sometimes it is challenging but in the end always rewarding. A lot of the time, the most rewarding thing a person will experience.

    Great post, thank you!

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  19. You are a smart lady. Loved this post.

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  20. @ everyone who is tempted by the gyoza - they're the frozen ones from Trader Joe's! We've been relying on them for years for a quick dinner. We usually get the chicken ones, but the pork are wonderful as well. Follow the instructions for stovetop cooking, but add a bit of soy sauce or tempura sauce to the water when you steam them at the end. That's our only secret.

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  21. What a meaningful topic. The photos and your words beautiful. Thank you.

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  22. this is so true. connecting without "the noise" is super important in my life. i like to escape from it all sometimes, and it makes all the difference.

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  23. this is such an inspiring post.

    xo tiffany

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  24. Thanks for this post. When my husband and I married, we both knew we wanted to have dinners together around the table, just like our parents had with us. Unfortunately, too often we have that tiredness you described, and sometimes we joke about our laziness-- "we'll eat with the TV off when we have kids!" This post has inspired, though, and with spring finally here, we can begin to eat together on our patio. No TV allowed.

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  25. rachel! i've had pesto on the brain for about a week now. would it be too much trouble to share your recipe sometime?

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  26. You are truly an inspiration. Thanks for the reminder to sit down and truly enjoy dinner and each other. We've been bad about this lately, but I'm feeling inspired to be better... starting tonight! Thank you.

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  27. You are such an inspiration. This has been on my heart for a while with my husband and I. Most nights we don't even consume dinner at the same time, let alone in the same room. When we are together, we're usually in front of the TV. This has really relight my desire to insist we set aside at least the time during dinner to discuss and talk and reflect.

    This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Marge Piercy, "The talking that is most erotic to me is simply conversation at its own pace, a combination of the intense and the casual, the free association of two people who know each other well but who always have something new to report, to question, to discuss. When we are talking that way, I feel caressed."

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  28. That's a great rule, then you really make time to talk to each other and have those interactions. I wish more families made dinner a no TV/work zone.

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  29. That is a great rule! Dinner is my favorite time of the day. I try to practice being mindful whenever I eat, but it's especially refreshing to do so when you are siting down to eat a meal with loved ones after a busy day.

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