Family Dinner Dilemma: “Peace and Love in the Kitchen”

by Bettina Elias Siegel on August 17, 2010

Just one day before launching my “Family Dinner Dilemma” series about getting weeknight dinners on the table, I got an email out of the blue from Waverly, the parent and writer behind “Peace and Love in the Kitchen.”   I visited Peace and Love and guess what?  It turns out to be a beautiful and well-thought-out site devoted to nothing but weeknight dinner.  It’s enough to make you believe in fate, isn’t it?

Most relevant to our Family Dinner Dilemma discussion is Waverly’s section on How to Feed a Family.  It covers everything from efficient meal planning and shopping, food prep, cooking tips for the beginner, getting kids involved in the cooking, and even a word about table manners (something we’ve been talking about quite a bit here lately).  And I liked her description of four parents and their different methods for getting food on the table, showing that there’s no one right way to accomplish this task.

I was also intrigued by Waverly’s concept of “The Three Bowls,” i.e., always serving along with your dinner a platter of fruit, a platter of cut-up veggies, and a green salad.  Her theory is that:

It is predictable. Everyone knows these items are always on the dinner table. If someone does not like what is being served for dinner, they can eat more from the three bowls.  It also provides more opportunities to eat or at least be given the opportunity to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, a category that is often underplayed.

Of course, in my family, it’s the vegetables and salads that are themselves the subject of pickiness, so they’re not a great “out” for the child who doesn’t like my meal, but I take her point that the more opportunities presented to eat such foods, the better.

As for the recipes on the site, you can tell right away that Waverly is a real cook who appreciates good food.   My only caution is that the majority of these recipes aren’t those 30 minute, dump-and-stir meals you see on many websites for busy parents.   That said, if you follow Waverly’s tips on doing advance prep work, many of these recipes could be made on a weeknight or, at the very least, they could be made on a weekend and frozen for use during the week.

I love it when little surprises like Peace and Love come across my desk.   Especially when they show up just in the nick of time.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen August 19, 2010 at 10:19 am

I’m so ready for inspiration now that school has resumed for us, and my picky eater is still traumatized from our vacation & move, making her normal food rules even more stringent – I can only think of two things to put in her lunch bag now, not to mention a dinner plan that will meet everyone’s needs. Heading right to this website for help. Thanks for the link!

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bettina elias siegel August 19, 2010 at 10:43 am

I have another promising site to share as well – look for it later today or next week!

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