We had some friends over for the Super Bowl last night, it was a low-key event at our house this year because of the snowstorm, but a great night. Normally I spend most of the day in the kitchen, preparing for a Super Bowl feast, and miss most of the game because I am still in the kitchen, making more food and then cleaning. This year my guy and I watched a movie right up until the time our friends were due and I am happy to say that I saw more of this year’s game than many previous years combined. The food? We served what we would have had for dinner on any other night, with a couple of extra snacks on hand. No dessert, unless you count the 6-8 leftover brownies from two days prior. I don’t.
It occurred to me that we have been living differently for a while now. We were out of town for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, so I didn’t cook for either holiday. We feasted with friends on Thanksgiving, but I personally ate about the same amount as any other day, I didn’t even bother with dessert simply because I wasn’t interested. Our family spent Christmas day at the beach and then hiking and our food was whatever we could find in the fridge. It was glorious! It may sound like I am celebrating freedom from cooking, but actually I am noticing that I am experiencing freedom from something much bigger: the expectation of food.
Don’t get me wrong, we still eat plenty in this house and I cook every single day, it’s just not necessarily the focus. Food doesn’t make the event, the people you are with, do. The quality and quantity of the dinner does not dictate the success of the night, that responsibility needs to be placed on the people around the table. I like that this has been a gradual shift in our family instead of an overnight change, for me that usually means it is more likely to continue. I am sure that I will still focus on the menu when making plans, but I like this new pace of making do with what we have and focusing more on the people at our table.