If you follow Enchanted Acres on Facebook or read my blogs, you know that I’m passionate about helping families and friends spend quality time enjoying life’s simple pleasures. That’s one of the reasons I was drawn to the Sunday Supper Movement and #WeekDaySupper. The movement of this mission is “to inspire people across the world to spend time around the family table!”
Have you ever noticed that some the best conversations happen around the kitchen table? It’s a place where we feel comfortable and relaxed. Actually, my entire kitchen is my “happy place.” I especially enjoy getting up early on Saturday morning and baking while everyone else is sleeping. It gives me joy to see the smile on my kids’ faces when they wake up and smell something delicious baking in the oven.
I bake or cook because…
It brings back great childhood memories. Baking was something I enjoyed doing from the time I was a young child. Before I was old enough to attend school, I stayed with my great grandma. She made me feel so special because I had my own little apron and child-sized utensils. She let me help roll out dough and cut out biscuits. As I got older, I enjoyed trying new recipes and earning blue ribbons at the county fair for my Food & Nutrition projects.
My family is present at meal time. It’s the one “device free” zone in the house, so we can reconnect with one another. Research shows that eating meals together as a family provides many benefits for children including better academic performance, higher self-esteem, as well as lower risk of substance abuse and depression.
It’s a way of showing caring and/or providing comfort. Whether a family is celebrating the birth of a baby or grieving the loss of a loved one, you can express your feelings for others without saying a word.
Food is a common denominator. Although not everyone likes to cook, almost everyone I know loves to eat! You can break the ice or strengthen friendships around good food. Plus, you can start family traditions and create legacies with special dishes.
The need to feed their creativity as well to the desire to serve healthful food motivates many food bloggers, cookbook authors, food writers, chefs, restaurateurs and others to cook. Last month during National #SundaySupper Month, the movement interviewed these foodies and compiled 101 reasons to cook.
While I enjoy my “me time” in the kitchen, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not cooking up gourmet meals. I’m not plating dishes that look like they could be photographed for Food and Wine or Better Homes and Gardens. My mantra in the kitchen is simple but delicious and nutritious. My secret weapon is meal planning!
Meal planning may sound tedious, but it’s really a time saver. (Click here for meal planning tips from Iowa Girl Eats blogger Kristin Porter.) Our little community doesn’t have a grocery store, so I have to meal plan to ensure that I have the ingredients on hand to make meals for one week. I look through my recipe books (or peruse my favorite food blogs) to come up with at least two recipes featuring each beef, pork and chicken. Then I think about a different colored fruit and vegetable to complement each entrée.
To help inspire you to sit down for #SundaySupper or a family meal any night of the week, I’m linking to 7 family-friendly recipes:
Pork Loin with Raspberry Sauce (The secret to this recipe is the sauce. I have a confession… the only way I’ve prepared a pork loin is my crock pot! I put a little water in the bottom before placing the loin in the pot. Then I season the meat according to the recipe.)