Do you eat dinner together as a family every night? We do, but until a couple of weeks ago, we didn’t always finish together. Eleanor and August know that they have to ask “may I be excused?” before they leave the table. (I highly recommend teaching your kids to do this too, because once they’re in the habit and they do it in front of company or at a friend’s house, they look super-polite and you get a million parenting points. Grandparents especially notice.) The problem is that we started getting to the point where the kids would each finish their meal and immediately ask to be excused — leaving the rest of us still at the table. So now we’re trying a new rule where they stay at the table until everyone is done.
The pictures in this post are from a dinner we made over the weekend: blood orange roasted salmon, from Blue Apron.
I’ve partnered with Blue Apron before, and I’m happy to continue to do so. They deliver fresh ingredients to your door, saving you a trip to the grocery store, and delivering exactly the right proportions for each recipe. I like it because the recipes don’t take too long (40 minutes or less), and they push me to include extra touches that I wouldn’t think to add otherwise. Do I usually top my food with pepitas or use a blood orange in place of a regular one? No, and adding them made our dinner feel more special, like we were getting a restaurant-style meal at home.
The recipe we made called for the salmon to be roasted, which meant cooking in our unpredictable antique oven. We’re pretty used to its quirks and we do often make fish in it, but I finally bought an oven thermometer so now we know that “Hot” actually means 500 degrees. (I suppose that’s why we’ve never seen the gauge go all the way to “Very Hot.” Can you imagine?)
You know the pink dishes I painted last week? I went and picked some up, and let me tell you — everything looks prettier on a pink plate!
Using gold flatware helps too, as demonstrated by my little hand model. She was a big fan of the salmon.
So, the new rule? It’s working so far! The kids are getting an exercise in patience, waiting until everyone has finished before being excused, and it’s giving us a little more time to sit at the table as a family and talk. Of course, a lot of that ‘talk’ is made up of little kid jokes that don’t make any sense, but it’s still nice. (And won’t the grandparents be impressed!)
If you’d like to try Blue Apron, I have a discount offer to share with you. The first 50 readers to sign up via Making it Lovely get two free meals on their first Blue Apron order!
The service is available nationwide to over 80% of the country. The plans have changed a little since I last wrote about the service and they now offer two types: the 2-Person Plan and Family Plan. We use the Family Plan, which is designed for a family of four (or more, if your kids are little and don’t eat a ton at each meal). Each delivery has enough food for two meals to be served family-style, you can choose to receive either one or two deliveries per week. The price is $69.92 per delivery ($8.74/serving) but there’s also a 2-Person plan offering one delivery a week with three meals for $59.94 ($9.99/serving). The food arrives in a refrigerated box so the ingredients will stay fresh, and they have a Blue Apron market with kitchenware, should you find yourself wanting to add a few new tools to your arsenal. They add new dishes all the time, shipping is always free, and there’s no commitment — you can skip or cancel whenever you’d like to.