And yes, it is an art. Some come by it easily, and for others it is a real challenge. We all have a friend, or a relative who eats dinner in 7.5 minutes flat. Typically they also approach cooking with the enthusiasm usually reserved for term papers on Pride and Prejudice (coming from one who spent an entire college semester writing papers on Ms. Austen’s fine work, believe me I know how little enthusiasm this is).
For some of these folks the change of scenery to a nice restaurant allows them to relax and enjoy the meals. Usually this is the same subset that has an irrational fear of microplanes and thinks that a great amount of closet space is foregone in favor of in kitchen cabinets. They may not be able to enjoy the art of dining at home, but they get it.
But there are those that never let themselves take time to enjoy a meal. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with these folks. There is no ordinance that requires that you savor your meals. Heck, I probably spend too much time contemplating herbs, time that could be put to much better use, like saving the world.
But superhero powers aside, I must say that I feel a bit sad for those that don’t get a bit weak in the knees when someone says bacon (or truffle, insert your own culinary Achilles heel here). There can be so much pleasure derived from good food, good wine, and good company. There is little more primal than the need to break bread, and well, the survival of the human race depends on those more primal needs (and that’s another blog). If we have to spend all of this time cooking and eating every day I think we should derive as much pleasure out of it as possible.
I’ve begun to approach meals at home much the same as dining out. Perhaps it is because I love to cook, or perhaps it is because we live a half an hour drive from the nearest decent restaurant, but I have begun to take a more thoughtful approach to our meals at home. I’ve found that not only does it give my husband and me a chance to reconnect, it makes it easier for us to turn off the tv during dinner and actually connect with each other. Now, what to make for dinner tonight?