A discussion had come up a few nights ago between a group of friends.  What were your family’s eating habits when you were a kid?  It was funny to reminisce and hear other people’s ways of eating as a child.  One question was, “How strict were your parents when you went out to eat?”  I remember whenever we would go out as a family (which didn’t happen often because there was 7 of us) my dad was always very strict.  And we knew that.  We always ordered water, no questions asked.  If we wanted a burger and cheese was an extra cost, you got a plain burger.  I remember having to ask if what we picked out was okay to get and if dad approved then that is what we got.  It was like this because my family’s budget was pretty tight when I was a kid.  But we never went starving.  As we have gotten older my parent’s have become more lax about eating out.  

   There was also the question if we depended on dessert after dinner.  I remember always wanting dessert after dinner, but sometimes we didn’t always have it.  My mom baked a lot so we would usually eat a cookie for dessert.  Or sometimes just a freezer pop.  Which we always had an abundance of and was good enough to satisfy our sweet tooth.  A family tradition that has been carried through the generations, is our invention of Peanut Butter and Syrup.  Quite an original name…anyways, basically it is a piece of toast with peanut butter and then syrup on it.  We would eat it like a pancake and the whiter and more unhealthy the bread was, the better.  I never liked to eat it with my bread toasted, I always liked the bread plain.  Most people have never heard of this being done, so we can claim it as our own.  But there had been a mere few who have heard or tried this concoction before.

    We always had the rule at the dinner table, if you don’t like what we are eating, than tough.  You have to eat it anyways.  I think this is good training for younger children because most kids nowadays rule the dinner table.  The parents are cooking separate meals for their picky children.  I have grown up not being much of a picky eater.  If my parents knew there was something we absolutely hated than they would let us make a PB&J or something else.  They wanted to make sure we were consistent in our dislikes and not just being stubborn. 

    I think my parents were wise in their eating habits and how they taught their children to be non-picky eaters.  My parents made sure that at dinnertime we were all together.  We would wait until my dad would come home from work and then all sit down and enjoy the meal as a family.  Aw, I actually miss those times.  When I went home this past weekend, honestly my favorite part was when I found our family gathered around the table with friends.  The kitchen table has always been a place of fellowship and I love it so much.  We all eat a meal and then sit around for hours just talking and such, it is so wonderful!  I guess I have something to look forward to when I visit home.

    A while back before I moved to Nashville I came for a visit to see my sisters.  My sisters were invited to a friend’s house for what they called “family dinner.”  Since I was in town I was invited as well.  I was curious to see what “family dinner” pertained of.  Basically it was a huge group of young people that got together, all bringing some sort of dish or tribute to the meal and we sat around a huge table and broke bread together.  It was amazing!  I never had such a great time.  It made sense that all these young people who are living away from their parents, on their own, wanting to get together with friends and call it “family dinner.”  It was a very enjoyable evening and sometimes home can be away from home. :-)