When did “what’s for dinner” become so complicated? As the pace of our lives has changed – papers to grade; clients to meet; reports to file; a family member’s play, concert, or game to attend; or a parent who needs help to be able to stay in their home – how or when does dinner or any other meal fit in?
Handheld food was the trend a few years back and I have to admit that I used to eat breakfast driving to work. Now I eat a quick breakfast at home, often while trying to catch up on a flood of emails in my inbox. As for lunch, it is usually at the desk. So when it comes to dinner, for many of us the demands of our days don’t automatically go on pause. So what should we do – eat in or dine out?
Dining out in the right restaurant at the right time can be a welcome respite to our day. For me, the right time is any time that is not during the peak dinner rush. As for the right place, we all probably have our favorites. Several new restaurants have opened in Kent over the past year that compliment nicely with the long established Kent traditions. Over a dinner prepared and served in a restaurant, we can reconnect with our friends and family without a thought about doing the dishes.
Yet the lure of eating in can be equally attractive. Shared activities, no matter what they are, can allow us to grow closer to our loved ones or to develop new friendships. Kitchen time need not be alone time. One can cut up fruit or wash the vegetables, while others set the table. An evening meal can be simply prepared and yet absolutely delicious. And how many heartfelt conversations have occurred over a sink of dishes – I’ll wash and you dry!
Eating in or dining out is a daily choice influenced by time, budgets and perhaps our own confidence in the kitchen. Whichever we choose, let’s all aim to put our day on pause to enjoy time well spent nourishing our bodies with food while nourishing our relationships through shared meals.