On Saturday night my family and I enjoyed a three-course dinner by candlelight – which sounds incredibly fancy, but really it was simply a public relations exercise. It started with the gargantuan pieces of sweetcorn I’d bought from a roadside stall that morning. They were so big they couldn’t fit on the dinner plate next to the rest of dinner so I popped them on side plates and announced that the entrée was served. The children immediately decided this was going to be a ‘special’ dinner and added candles and fancy paper napkins from the $2 shop.
It didn’t take long for their enthusiasm to become infectious. Unfortunately the sausages, pasta and salad planned for the ‘main’ seemed a little bit of a let-down, so I rebranded. “May I present farm-reared beef sausages on a bed of Italian pasta with a sun ripened red jus (tomato sauce) and alongside baby greens.” The kids accepted my slightly nonsensical spiel and went into Masterchef mode, judging me on taste, originality and presentation.
Dessert was leftover chocolate pavlova from the night before. I was instantly invited to join a dessert master class (clearly an attempt to make dessert a more regular occurrence). Last night they said Saturday night’s dinner was their favourite part of the weekend. It reminded me of several things – often it’s the simple things that create great memories for your children, sitting down together as a family is such an important thing to do, and I don’t have to mention table manners every single night.