I love dinner.
Like, probably, too much. Don’t get me wrong, I love breakfast and lunch, too – but dinner’s my favorite. I look forward to it all day. I love sitting down with the family and talking about our days. I love looking at cookbooks and websites, finding and trying new recipes. I love working on dinner while the kids play outside after school. I love it when the kids come tumbling into the kitchen and announce,
“We’re STARVING! What’s for dinner??”
“Am I smelling dinner or does Dom have a dirty diaper?”
“Chicken AGAIN?? I’d rather eat anything in the world except for your chicken.”
“What IS that? Is that even a food?”
We have six kids. It happens.
Note: Yes, you’re smelling dinner. (Note: Dom actually did have a dirty diaper that I didn’t know about, and that RG had to change when he got home. Welcome home, honey.) Yes, chicken again. And yes, as far as I know, it is a food. Yes, yes, yes.
Not even complaining kids can ruin my love of dinner. Over the years, we stopped catering to our kids, stopped making peanut butter sandwiches and stopped negotiating numbers of bites. It took trial and error, and making small changes over time, but we’ve got a system that works now and lets me feel the dinnertime love. And, like any system that involves six kids, it revolves around two main components: wine and rules. It starts with the number one, most important rule at our table.
Family Dinner Rule #1
1. What’s for dinner is what’s for dinner. Period. This is a hard one for lots of people. It was for us at first, too. There was an adjustment period with lots of tears. But now that the kids know they won’t be able to convince us to get them something else, they’re much better about eating what is served. And they usually decide that eating what’s offered is better than going to bed hungry. Sometimes they do choose to eat nothing – but I promise you, they’re no worse for wear.
And here’s what’s for dinner this week.
Tuesday: chicken stir fry with paleo almond satay sauce (soy sauce can be substituted for coconut aminos. I’ll be using leftover pork chops instead of chicken) and brown rice
Wednesday: chicken tortilla soup (you must trust Pioneer Woman) and cornbread
Friday: cauliflower crust pizzas and oven-roasted broccoli
Saturday: turkey tacos and cold veggies
What’s for dinner at your house this week?