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Dinner: A Love Story

June 26, 2012

Anyone who knows me, knows I get way too excited about things, overly invested emotionally, and then go on and on and on about them.  Jessica Simpson, ALL THINGS VERMONT, Rachel Ray, Chauncey Creek Lobster Pool, Penzey’s Spices to name a few.  I really do try to rein myself in when I see that look on someone’s face that cues me in to the fact that I’ve probably already raved about this thing I’m talking about to this person and no, it doesn’t appear that they want to hear about it AGAIN.  But this time around – I’m not sure I’ve worn out my raving:  Dinner: A Love Story.  DALS.  Ever heard of it?  I do think I sent a group email one time to a bunch of people to say they should follow the blog but I’m not sure who really does.  If you do, call me so we can talk about it every day!  Because every single day I read it, I want to discuss everything about it start to finish.  Why?  Because it’s the life we have been aiming for in this household for 8 1/2 years!

When we were dating, then engaged, then newly married, we had a blessed mentor couple who became like family to us.  And they liked to cook.  We watched them through the many meals we shared in that season of our lives and went on to analyze their kitchen “dance” every moment we had.  She cooks, he does dishes.  BUT – HE ALSO COOKS!  And then she does the dishes.

Everyone (small kids included) congregates near the kitchen to chat while cooking happens.  There are snacks or appetizers.  A glass of wine.  Real linens on the table.  To us, it was like a restaurant each night.  Granted, their children were not yet attending sporting events or music lessons through the dinner hour but it was clear that dinner was an important part of their life and we soaked up every detail, making lofty goals for our future.  “We HAVE to get our kids to eat Thai food like theirs!” and “We for SURE have to teach our kids to set the table early on.”  Their pickiest eater was on her own to have plain yogurt if she wouldn’t eat what was at the table.  To which we then commented, “We love how they don’t make a separate dinner for her.  We’ll NEVER cook different meals for our kids, they’ll just eat what we do.”   *Disclaimer – We have now learned as parents to never say never.  So we’ll just see what actually ends up happening now.

They set a beautiful example for us in so many ways but it was the cooking that impacted us and we set out from day one of our young married life with the rule that whoever cooks, does not do dishes.  And we started using real linens every night at the table.  We scoured cookbooks for recipes beyond our skill set, ruined a lot of those meals, spent waaaaaay too much on groceries, and threw away a lot because we had no idea what to do with it.  I remember meeting these friends of ours a few months into marriage and the husband asking if we had learned yet to look in our fridge and make a meal out of whatever was sitting in there.  Uh, no.  We could barely make a good meal with a stocked fridge!  (But now – with only a lone onion in the fridge, we are rockin’ and rollin’ – thanks Jenny!!!)

Dinner: A Love Story is a family…a marriage…a kitchen dance.  There is teamwork and there is wine.  The blog is for sure, a great recipe resource but more than that, it is great reading about real married life, as parents, trying to eat good food without needing a million ingredients and a fancy recipe for every night of the week .  So imagine my excitement to actually MEET the blogger herself!  I know, I know, she isn’t Bobby Flay or Paula Deen but to me, she is totally famous.  She really is just a mom of 2 girls who writes about the food they make.  I guess.  But I tend to go overboard with this kind of stuff.  So don’t even get me started on the book I waited months for or the fact that I totally ordered this pan just because she blogged about it…

Yep, I am super nerdy about this stuff.  And it gets better.  While reading DALS the next day, my NAME was on the blog!!!  When you read through those thank-you’s, that is me.  I even got a text from a friend that said, “Uh, did you get a shout out on DALS today!?”  Yes.  Yes I did.  It was an extremely exciting day for me.  And now hopefully lots and lots of people will buy this book and read the blog so I can have people to talk to about it.

We have had 2 recipes from the book so far (a third on its way tonight) and I can say for sure, they have been easy and yummy.  The night of the book signing we had a quick pasta with caramelized onions that I didn’t even really need the recipe for, I just needed the reminder of how to actually caramelize them.  Lo and behold, I had actually managed to master what Jenny calls a “back pocket recipe” and I didn’t even know it!  An onion was really all I had besides pantry staples and I had already planned to use all the ingredients the recipe called for ON MY OWN!  So it only took about 8 1/2 years but yes…we can finally open the fridge and make something out of whatever we have.  And we still use real linens.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 26, 2012 6:15 pm

    You are so funny, Kelly. It was awesome meeting you and I love that I’m in the same sentence as Bobby Flay and Paula Deen. You made my year! xx

  2. Mom permalink
    August 27, 2012 5:30 pm

    Agree Jenny. My daughter is too funny. What great joy it is as a Mom to see Kelly get excited about the little things in life that makes her smile. Makes me smile too

  3. Stefanie permalink
    August 27, 2012 10:50 pm

    Excited to check it out! I always love your recommendations!

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