Book Review | The Family Dinner
Author: Laurie David
My husband and I both agreed before our first child was born that we would make it a practice in our household to eat together as a family every day. I believe that this is a great way for our family to interact and spend time together each day no matter how busy our lives. While we continue to do so it becomes more challenging as work and schedules sometimes get in the way. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review The Family Dinner by Laurie David and recipes by Kirstin Uhrenholdt. This is far from being just a cookbook….it is a treasure trove of ways that families to come together “one meal at a time.” The Family Dinner is one of my most enjoyable reads in a long time. Each nugget of information is practical and can work for any family. According to the author, “Children who have regular dinners together with their parents do better in almost all areas of life, from higher grades in school, to maintaining loving relationships, to staying healthy, safe and out of trouble.” That fact alone is enough motivation for me to continue with our family tradition!
The photos and illustrations are fantastic and really help bring the book to life. I loved the chapter on “Setting the Scene” and shared it with my little ones. They immediately decided to make the centerpiece for the table that night and proceeded to pick an arrangement of Hibiscus flowers and wildflowers from the yard putting it together in a glass vase. Simple…yet perfect! Better yet….it didn’t cost anything and my children were quite proud of themselves for helping to get the table ready for dinner. The first dinner that we made together was the “Asian Beef Stir-Fry” and it was delicious. Chocked full of vegetables (some from our own garden) with just a bit of free range skirt steak and we had a healthy meal. I allowed my little ones to help me by adding the ingredients to make the sauce while I chopped the veggies and cooked the beef. I can’t wait to try the Risotto recipe for our next meal. I have always wanted to make a Risotto but wasn’t sure how to go about it. The Family Dinner recipe looks simple and delicious and best of all it’s FAST! I can’t wait to try Grandma Helen’s Apple Cake. My father-in-law is visiting from Ohio and bringing the freshest picked apples of fall and I am excited to make this cake for my family.
There is a wonderful chapter on “Table Talk” and it has fun conversation starters and table games. We liked playing “Once Upon a Time” and the “Alphabet Game.” I also liked that there is a section devoted to the “The Family Dinner after Divorce.” There is a quote in the book by Jill Brooke, founder of Blended Families in America that I thought was very poignant,” A family meal revives our sense of togetherness. Life is not over. It’s just different.”
Finally, the chapter on “Grace is Gratitude” is full of dinner rituals and ways to share blessings. I love Challah bread and there is a recipe for homemade Challah that I am determined to make and have it turn out perfectly (okay…I would settle for edible).
I can’t write enough about The Family Dinner….it is truly a special book. I highly recommend this for any family who wants to come together around the dinner table and have an enjoyable meal in the company of loved ones. This book is destined to become worn and dog eared from use on my cookbook shelf.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*