One of the questions the interviewer asked during our IKEA home visit was, “How often do you have a formal, sit-down meal together?” What surprised me about this question was the way it was asked–the implication was that sitting down together for a meal was unusual enough to always be considered “formal.” When I responded that I wouldn’t consider it formal, but we eat supper at the table nearly every night (the only exception is when we might watch a movie while we eat on Friday night) and breakfast at the table every morning, she responded, “That is unusual today.”
Our mealtimes are scheduled and structured, and I think that’s a good thing. It gives us a time where we can focus on our food and our family. Our family of two may be small right now, but we’re trying to establish good habits for the future–habits of valuing our time together and taking advantage of the opportunities to get to know each other more. We were both blessed to grow up in families that made mealtimes a priority, and we want to provide that structure for any children God may give us as well.
When we were first married, I had no idea how to plan a meal, and my cooking experience was very limited. To help maintain my sanity, I bought a subscription to Aviva Goldfarb’s Six O’Clock Scramble, a weekly meal planning service. I had tried eMeals and a couple other services, but The Scramble was the first one I really felt comfortable with. The meals are easy, tasty, and healthy, and I love the layout of the recipes. I feel kind of like I’m part of Aviva’s family when I read the recipe intros! Even though the recipes were too large for a family of two, I loved having leftovers for other meals during the week.
I did let my subscription lapse as I became more accustomed to planning meals on my own, but what has lately caught my attention is The Scramble’s Family Dinner Challenge. The challenge is simple: commit to eating together as a family three times a week for the next four weeks. To help you in your commitment, Aviva will give you a free four-week membership to the Six O’Clock Scramble. That means you get a menu delivered to your inbox every Wednesday and full access to the database of past recipes so that you can mix and match your menu if something doesn’t fit your family’s fancy. What I think might be the coolest perk is that for just $10, she’ll add an extra 6 months to your membership. (At least that’s what it said in one of the followup emails I received.) Do you remember how I feel about the word “free”? The words “73% discount” mean a lot to me too, so I’m definitely planning to take advantage of that one.
A final note, because I guess people wonder about these things–I’m not receiving any sort of kick back for telling you about the Scramble or the Family Dinner Challenge. I’m speaking from my personal opinion and experience about a service that I think is fantastic and a challenge that I think is worth committing to.
Will you join me and take the challenge?