When I was growing up, our family usually had dinner together every night. There were exceptions to this, of course, but in my memory this was the way it always was.
I know that it’s becoming more and more uncommon for families to have these nightly dinners. And now with two kids of my own, both me and my husband working full-time with commutes home from the city to the suburbs, it’s not always an easy thing to pull off. But we still try. I’d like to think we succeed more often than not. Even though our kids are young and one is just learning how to speak and express herself, it’s one of the few times that we’re solely focused on each other and reconnecting after being apart all day.
Jenny Rosenstrach, the author of Dinner: A Love Story, is a kind of evangelist for maintaining this tradition. I’d first come across her blog of the same name years ago and immediately connected with her approach to cooking. Her recipes and posts present a balance between the pleasure and satisfaction of cooking and creating a meal for the people you love, and also the pragmatism of getting something on the table that will please adults, tweens and toddlers alike. This can seem daunting, but Rosenstrach is a coach in your corner, giving you the confidence to see that it’s possible.
Her cookbook is unlike any I’d ever bought. Yes, there are amazing recipes with delicious looking pictures. But it’s also Rosenstrach’s personal story of how she and her husband began this lifestyle journey together as they became first a family of just the two of them, and then a family of four with the arrival of their two daughters. I love reading people’s personal stories, and this was the first cookbook that I read cover to cover as a legitimate narrative. I have particularly appreciated the section talking about meal planning for children who have entirely different feelings about eating, which is the world I’m living in right now. The strategies and suggestions on how to adjust your mindset, and maybe even trick your kid a little bit (the Rainbow Salad section is genius) have had some success in my house and helped me believe that someday my kid might actually ask to eat vegetable someday.
If you’re looking for ways to help get a meal on the table every night without losing your mind, and want to pick up some new favorite recipes (the meatball’s above are now a staple for my quick freezer meals) then Dinner: A Love Story is a perfect choice.
Interested in picking up your own copy to love? Click the link below: