One of my lasting memories from the meals my family shared together during my childhood happened on Friday evenings. After dinner was finished, we would linger at the table and continue our conversation. My mother performed what our family affectionately referred to as her “apple-peeling trick”. She would take a sharp knife, and with her sturdy hands make a single tear in the skin at the top of the apple and peel the apple in one continuous action creating a dome. She would place the dome in the center of the table, and then cut the peeled apple into slices to share with me and a couple others. It looked very much like this:
From what I recall, she always used a red apple. As I grew up, I learned that there was nutrition in the apple peels, and that there were many more varieties than what I had been exposed to in my humble home.
The “apple-peeling trick” was a ritual that made an impression on me because it was an added element to our already strong family meal ritual. As a little girl, I sat directly next to my mother throughout my childhood (a coveted seat given there were eleven children around the table). I would see her get ready to do her apple-peeling routine with anticipation. This action, however small, enhanced the experience of those around the table sharing the meal by adding a little ‘magic’ that was specific to our family.
When you have a shared-meal ritual, the possibilities to enhance the ritual are endless.
Is there something YOU do at the dinner table that adds a magical element?
I would love to hear about what makes your family meal ritual special. Please feel free to share so we can spread some shared-meal love today!