Do you ever just wish you could slow down time?
Just a few decades ago, eating dinner at the table with our family was non-negotiable. Those were the days when it was rare for mothers to work outside the home, and beyond a black & white television, a transistor radio or record player there was no technology to get in the way of slowing down and actually chatting at dinner time.
I find as a family we are spending more time grabbing dinner from the pots on the stove and plunking down in front of the television to eat. I think the art of enjoying a leisurely meal is far to neglected in today’s busy, technically driven society. I am completely guilty of eating dinner with my tablet beside me scrolling through Pinterest or catching up on a the latest gossip while watching the news at the same time.
Since I turned 50 there is one thing that is often on my mind. Time goes by way too fast. Our days are filled with work, projects, baking, meal planning, bill paying, and the list goes on.
I want to embrace every second I can during the time that isn’t filled with commitments. My plan is to make every effort to take dinner from the multitasking 10-15 minutes it has become, to a more leisurely filled hour of conversation and connection!
I have always admired pretty tablescapes and often thought to myself that I shouldn’t wait for a special occasion to actually set the able and enjoy dinner. Now is the time!
While not every night will see such a fancy set up, I decided to set this table for two so Tim and I could enjoy a quiet dinner out in the screen porch.
Friday nights we play in a couples golf league and it was nice to have a pretty table all set to come home to. It is easy to throw something into the slow cooker in the morning and all there is left to do when we get home is pour the wine and serve dinner.
Some of my favourite movie scenes take place around a leisurely meal. The tablescapes always portray a relaxed and inviting environment.
In It’s Complicated, there is a scene where Meryl Streep’s character has gathered with her girlfriends around the dining room table enjoying dinner together, sharing stories and thoroughly enjoying each others company. What a wonderful way to nurture our friendships as we get older.
Under The Tuscan Sun, Diane Lane’s character attends a dinner hosted by a neighbouring family, and everyone is settled in hours of food and conversation. Family and friends welcome the newcomer like they have known her all their lives even though she barely speaks their language.
One of my favourite dinner scenes comes at the end of the “Eat” segment in Eat, Love, Pray. They gather with family and friends for a traditional American turkey dinner, but they end up falling asleep all over the living room when it is apparent the turkey wasn’t defrosted. They wake up to finally enjoy their dinner together. At breakfast time.
The memories that can be created by slowing down and enjoying a meal, be it with one special person or a harvest table full of family, friends, new and old! We have the perfect little set up outside on our deck, complete with an outdoor harvest table that Tim built, but it just doesn’t get used enough.
Showing hospitality shouldn’t be reserved only for our guests. I think our own families are worthy of the same hospitality on otherwise ordinary days.
Tablescapes do not have to be expensive. Setting our table for two didn’t cost me a penny. I simply gathered things I had around the home.
Mixed matched plates and silverware just add to the charm.
I used an old curtain panel that belonged to my Nana that adds a bit of romance as a tablecloth.
Plates purchased at Target during its’ short stay in Canada, are layered between old wooden chargers and some antique plates I found at a yard sale.
I discovered this delicious and inexpensive wine during this wine tour!
Fresh raspberries on sale at the grocery store are frozen in ice cubes to dress up an otherwise plain glass of water.
Peonies from the garden add pretty touch.
I challenge you, dear friends, to treat yourself and your family to some heartfelt hospitality. Turn off cell phone, shut off the television and be present together for dinner.
Over the summer I hope to share many different tablescapes as I continue on my quest to make dinnertime an experience rather than a sprint!
Until next time…..