Time flies quickly. As every year passes, the months and days seem to be streaking by at warp speed. Imagine our Firstborn who can’t even complete a sentence at five-year-old is now a 17-yo honors high school student. His four other brothers are growing fast, too. And this unstoppable march of time turns our little ones into gentlemen with each day bringing discoveries, challenges, and growth.
Creating mealtime memories
Since we can’t stop time from ticking, might as well make every moment count. And one helpful way to make memories is a feast around the dining table – something my boys can look back in 10 to 20 years and think fondly of the meals and stories we’ve shared.
Our everyday breakfast or dinner is nothing special. Mostly served are usual family favorites and experiments this mom creates from only available resources. But what perhaps makes each mealtime genuinely memorable is the fact that we all gather our five boys around the table and share the simple meal we have. That even as we close our eyes now, there may be a hundred and more unscripted moments we can think back on fondly – The likes of laughter scenes and teases shared, a few serious conversations, and the mess under the table.
Yes, even the mess on the table and under it. We don’t worry about crumbs, stains, and whatnot. We let our two little ones eat by themselves in the manner they want to enjoy their food. We don’t think about the chores waiting once dinner’s done. We simply enjoy our food and everyone’s company.
Planning meals to meal preparation
Creating mealtime memories, though, starts long before gathering around the dining table. There are times we plan meals as a family. This happens especially when we dine out, and the boys would request a similar dish for breakfast or dinner. Often, too, we drag the children into doing grocery shopping. And from the many times they join us, we are always thankful that we got to spend time together as a family.
This mother is the designated cook at the small house. Sometimes, though, I ask the boys to help in the kitchen. The experience is fun, often crazy as the children and even the husband have unique ideas to tweak our recipes.
It helps, too, when I attend cooking workshop and from there learn new recipes I could make for the family. Just like this recent workshop I’ve attended – Potatoes USA Cooking Workshop – I learned a lot about the nutrients one gets from potatoes. Likewise, the hosts- Momma N’ Manila and Chef Rosebud Benitez – were both too generous to share new three easy recipes with U.S. potatoes as the main ingredient. These are U.S. Potato Crusted Salmon with Truffle Potato Sauce and Fruit Salsa, U.S. Potato Pudding and U.S. Potato Truffles. I’m planning to recreate these dishes at home. Ow, and not only did we learn about potatoes and new recipes, but we also received a bag full of recipe books!
Gathering around the table
Nothing beats, though, gathering around the table and eating as a family. Any electronic device is not welcome as we aim to enjoy the food with everyone’s company. And speaking of food, one easy recipe my boys love so much as breakfast or breakfast-for-dinner treat is the Pan Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes. Good friend Roselle Toledo shared this recipe.
Pan Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes
This savory chicken and potatoes recipe is prepared in one pan with just a few ingredients and ready to serve in an hour or two. Both chicken and potatoes are seasoned with butter, rosemary, thyme, pepper, and salt. The longer the seasoning stick on both the chicken and potatoes, the better.
Our Pan Rosemary Chicken and Potatoes dish is quickly becoming a staple in the small house because it is incredibly simple yet has tons of flavor to savor and enjoy. We just let the seasoning sit for about an hour or two then put everything inside the oven. And when the timer ticks, off from the oven are incredibly juicy, tender, and perfectly seasoned chicken and potatoes.
For the potatoes, we only use Potatoes USA. Such kind of potatoes is grown in the United States of America which are a product of generations of sustainable farming expertise. From the day these potatoes are planted to the day they reach the dining tables of families around the world, Potatoes USA reflects the care of its growers. This is because they grow the potatoes for their families, too, thus putting much love and dedication.
Ow, by the way, you might remember me writing about U.S. potatoes last year (click here), where I shared my thoughts about the many benefits of potatoes during pregnancy. Potatoes are nutrient dense vegetables that contain Vitamin C, potassium, complex carbohydrates, fiber, Vitamin E, calcium, iron and magnesium. My growing boys love them, which makes cooking easier for me as I can include potatoes to any meals – breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner.
Memories around the dining table
Taking time out of our busy life with children to eat together undoubtedly helps create memories that last forever. Thus, we make it a point that weekend mealtimes are spent with the whole family. As much as possible, too, breakfast is spent together with the kids. More than the food on the table, it’s our presence- being mindful and listening to the boys’ stories that truly make the meal delicious and worth remembering. Our dishes may not pass as Instagram-worthy photos. The children’s appreciative smile in each bite, though, is enough to reassure this mother and her husband that we are all creating the kind of dinner memories that would bind the family for life.
Momi Berlin Directory