Going Overboard

I know people for whom to spend half an hour preparing dinner is an unthinkable chore.

I don’t understand those people.

Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand the got-home-late-from-some-after-school-activity sort of feeling. The days when we know we’ll be coming in late and hungry, I pull something out of the freezer that needs only a few minutes in the microwave.

But on ‘normal’ days, making dinner is a way to make every day special. If it takes an hour to do that, who cares? An hour spent nurturing my family is an hour well-spent, in my mind. And if, some days, that hour expands to two or three…well, I at least make sure on those days I’m making enough to put a meal or two in the freezer for when I need an instant meal.

I also don’t mind going overboard now and again on dinner, because our family has a culture of food appreciation. From an early age, the kids learned to appreciate new flavours, interesting textures, and the culinary effort it takes to create a meal. If I spend two hours making dinner, I know the people who eat it will appreciate the extra effort. I know they will recognise it as one of the ways I show my love for them–a culinary hug. As teenagers, they resist real hugs, but they love a good culinary hug. It’s not just conditioning that they thank the cook at each meal–they actually mean it.

So if I go a bit overboard sometimes…well, you can never have too many culinary hugs.

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