On Eating Together

Posted on April 8, 2011

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Omelettes, beans, and avocados = yum!

Lately, as I’ve been teaching classes at odd hours and Juan’s been running around busy with the family business as well as tourism meetings, our usual ritual of sharing meals has gone by the wayside.  For starters, early-morning English lessons have me running out the door right as Juan’s waking up.  There goes breakfast.  Usually, he’s had to attend to his dad’s business with all sorts of errands in the late-morning and early afternoon.  There goes lunch.  With my early-bird schedule, I (like a grandma) feel hungry by 5:00 pm — which is about the time Juan has a chance to meet with his own business partners.  There goes dinner.

Soon, I’m sure we’ll figure out our right rhythms so we can get back into sync with eating together.  For the time being, NOT being able to do so has actually been a delightful reminder that sharing meals is one of the greatest joys for Juan and I as a couple.

Lomo relleno! Uy uy!Mm, beet and carrot Swedish soup!Sharing meals, as we experience it, usually means not only eating together, but actually creating every aspect of the meal together – from the food prep to the cooking to the presentation to the table decoration.  One of us generally takes the lead on cooking (Juan if it’s a meat dish, me if it’s an Indian recipe, for example), while the other chops and slices and peels and dices.  We spend the meal-prep time catching up on our lives, talking about ideas, dreaming, laughing… of course with two glasses of wine well within reach.  And then we enjoy our meal slowly, with candles and conversation aplenty.

This afternoon, though, it was enough for us to meet for just 30 minutes on our lunch breaks.  Funny how chomping on sammies and slurping soda with each other at Quiznos can serve as such a comforting, calm delight in a hectic day, and how just being together can recharge our batteries to energetically face the rest of it.  Nevertheless, we’ve promised ourselves to set aside further time in the near future to make a typical Minnesota dish using a bag of wild rice that’s on hand.

YOUR Action Step: Make the time to enjoy a meal together this week.  Not just eating it together (i.e., not just one of you cooking for the other!), but really luxuriating in one another’s company for the entire process of preparing, savoring, and digesting the meal.  Buen provecho!

Spanish tortilla and wine by candlelight

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