Posts Categorized: Rituals

Family Dinner: Book It!

Short of actually feeding you and your family a meal at my kitchen table, I can’t imagine there is anything more satisfying than hearing about the successes you’ve all had using recipes and advice from DALS. Last night my neighbor Bonnie left a message for me — there was unmistakable triumph in her voice as she described the dredging stations… Read more »

My 8-year-old Made This Chili

Well, almost. Both Andy and I directed her (and hovered over her) as she wielded a real knife and stirred chili powder into hot browning turkey meat, but she actually did everything — except open the can of tomatoes. Abby was at a sleepover so we told Phoebe she was allowed to pick her favorite dish and help us make… Read more »

Pick a Country, Any Country

A couple of years ago, we started a birthday tradition in our house (and it only applies to kids). When it’s your birthday, you get to go to any restaurant you want. There’s only one rule — the restaurant you pick has to be specific to a certain country. For instance, on her sixth birthday, Phoebe chose Sweden. It’s not… Read more »

Dinner and a Movie

Every night, just after cleaning up dinner and just before the bath-tooth brush-get dressed-hair brush-story time-back tickle-I’m not tired yet-a-palooza, we take a few minutes to let the girls watch a movie. Or, if we’re gonna get all technical about it, it’s not really a movie. We huddle around the computer, turn out the lights, and watch one youtube video… Read more »

Cucumber Spa

End-of-the-week vegetables are good for more than just homemade chicken stock. A few cuke slices, two bathrobes, some white towels, and one Enya song on repeat for, um, ever, was all we needed to kill the morning.

Who Needs Playmobil?

This post really has no business being on this blog — except for the fact that Paper Doll Command Central happens to be at the kitchen table, especially during long stretches of unscheduled spring breaks. You are looking at Alexandra and Claire, two paper dolls in my daughters’ collection of about three hundred (each with her own name). It works… Read more »

The “OK Shelf”

My position on letting the kids help with dinner is this: No. For me it’s one of those things that fall under the Sounds-Fun-But-Actually-Sucks category of kids activities. (Others on the list: parades, ice skating, any kind of music class that mom has to be present at.) That does not mean I’m categorically against my kids cooking with me. In… Read more »

The Chalkboard

I bought this chalkboard decal from wallcandyarts.com and stuck it up in my kitchen because I just thought it was so pretty, but now, two years later, I’m not sure anyone in my house can live without it. At first I used it as a way to remind my babysitter of playdates and activities, but now it’s more like my… Read more »

When The Spouse is Away…

…the other spouse will throw all dinner rules out the window. At least, that’s the experience in my house. For whatever reason, when my husband is on the road, our sacred mealtime routine doesn’t seem so sacred anymore. While my kids get take-out or a Trader Joe’s pizza from the freezer, I will get all Prousty with a mammoth bowl… Read more »

The Recipe Door

    When we bought our house in 2003, the kitchen was terrible (think avocado counters, not of the charming retro variety), This was exciting to me for one reason: In a few years, when we could maybe afford to renovate, we could create the perfect family kitchen from scratch. Of course, as anyone who has lived through a renovation… Read more »

Summer-in-the-Winter Birthday Party

I am so jealous of parents who have kids with warm-weather birthdays. My girls were born in late fall and early winter which basically precludes any attempt at an easy breezy outdoor party (aka: One of those let-them-run-around-then-serve-cake-then-say-goodbye parties). So for Phoebe’s 8th this year, we all decided to ignore the weather and have a summer party anyway — inside… Read more »

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