When I think of family dinner, I immediately think of sitting at a round kitchen table with my parents and older sister when I was five years old. I can still remember sitting in a brown plastic booster seat and eating my favorite meal: spaghetti and garlic bread. I sat at that table for the first 18 years of my life. Together with my family, I sat there for birthdays and holidays, through fights and bad report cards, (my D in 5th grade science caused a particularly awkward evening) armed with my favorite dishes and the occasional burned bread. Regardless of this vivid memory, it was not a mere thought as I hosted a revamped family dinner for four dear friends.
After considering my husband’s Red Lobster memory with platers of popcorn shrimp, cheese bread, and fries, I came up with the following menu:
- Fried shrimp with remoulade and cocktail sauce
- A copycat recipe of the Red Lobster cheese biscuit with garlic butter
- Traditional dinner salad, and by traditional I mean boring
- Mediterranean fish soup with shrimp
- Homemade chocolate chip cookies and vanilla ice cream with dark chocolate shards.
As I stirred and served, I waited for a fight to break out, someone to cry, or someone to come out of the closet. Nope. I accepted that though dramatic, my life is not a sitcom. So what made it a family dinner? Maybe it was when a guest was unable to find a wine chiller and made one out of a stock pot and ice, or that the little brother was a no-show. Or maybe it was the mere fact that we all came together. I wish I could say I had a revelation while eating and laughing with my friends, but in reality I had a full belly, a wine buzz and a smile. So I can’t help but wonder what forms a family?
Party #2 is scheduled for.... tomorrow afternoon.
The party in numbers:
- Parties Completed: 1
- Weeks until deadline: 51
- Justified Purchases: 2 (cloth napkins and a jazzy printed apron)
- Bottles of wine consumed: 4 ish