Monday, January 2, 2012

I Haven't Done That Since High School

This morning I went for a slow jog and then came home and made a brunch for  B and I. It's his first day back to work and I wanted something healthy and protein-filled to start my day with as I will eventually start on a truckload of homework that's due on the first day of nursing school. As I was making it I was thinking that I would do something totally off-the-wall and crazy and actually eat at the dinner table for once in my life.

Since we've been packing up our house to move this week, our dinner table is finally uncluttered enough to actually eat at it. Most of the time we eat in front of some type of back-lit screen at the coffee table. This is not good for several reasons. If you are distracted by a TV or a computer, you're far less likely to realize when you are full and to continue to eat just to be entertained. It's not good for my laptop either for obvious reasons (I know, it's awful, guilty as charged, but I plan to stop). Today, at the dinner table I ate with no one else, by myself, with no distractions, complete silence, and yes, it was kind of boring, but kind of nice to pay attention to what I was putting in my mouth. Nowadays, I don't think my parents do much table-sittin. I think my dad does for breakfast so that he can read his paper and have his coffee but you're pretty much on your own for lunch and dinner. I realize when we were kids it was just to teach us table manners, but now that I'm an old, overweight lady, I see there are way more benefits than that.

Also, I look back fondly at the meals my mother used to cook for us these days. If I were at my parents' house yesterday rather than work I would have had black-eyed peas with onions and green and red peppers. My mom is from Ohio and is definitely not a southerner but she loves her black-eyed peas. When we were kids she would serve us a meat, vegetable, and a starch. Some of the meats might be Salisbury steak, chicken, or meatloaf. Our starch was always potatoes and very occasionally a roll. We never ate rice growing up and I guess maybe this was because of my mom's midwestern upbringing. She never served casseroles either which I see a lots of southerners make these days.  We always had vegetables and I LOVE vegetables. We had lima beans, green beans, peas, or corn, and usually they were out of a can. If it wasn't this formula, it would be  what I would call a "theme meal" like fajitas, tacos, or spaghetti.

 Brandon loves rice and hates every green vegetable under the sun except lettuce. B and I ate out a lot in college and if we cooked at home it was usually something more elaborate. The other day, B made lentils with sliced chicken sausage on rice. This is actually a very healthy meal but where's my beloved green? I miss the green! When we first explored cooking together we would make copycat PF Chang lettuce wraps, or my famous Carne Asada tacos (actually it's a Tyler Florence recipe).  I never really saw the value of these simple meals until now. I was lean and trim in high school and I think that was because I sat at the table, ate my vegetables, and oh yeah, team sports may have helped with that too.

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