Meal time should be special regardless if you are one or many. One way to switch up your meal is to switch up your environment. Creating ambiance can be as simple as eating by candlelight with soft music or more complex as with a theme dinner.
Spark up your meal with fire
The simplest way to change your environment is with candlelight. However, you can take it a step further by eating fireside. You don’t even need to have a fireplace, wood burning or otherwise. You can eat by fireside dvd playing on your television. Many fireplace dvds now come with an array of fire settings and crackling sounds.
Have a picnic indoors or out
A picnic is a fun way to change the mealtime feeling. It can be as formal or informal as you like. It can be outdoors on a picnic table or elegantly set portable table or on the floor by the fireplace or surrounded by twinkling lights. Regardless of how or where you set up your picnic, the idea is that your food is portable. So serve your dishes in small, easy-to-pass containers like reusable, plastic to-go boxes, canning jars and pretty ceramic storage containers. Wrap your utensils in cloth napkins and use wax paper-lined baskets for cleanup ease. After all, one common picnic rule is that cleanup is a breeze.
Make meal time a learning experience
Theme dinners usually take a bit more time to prepare, but that depends on the level of detail that you want to put into it. Theme meals are a great extension to learning about a specific culture or time period and an excellent way to connect with your kids of any age. There are endless themes that can be implemented. A few suggestions on which you can base your theme meal:
- Ethnic theme based on the food being served (a great way to teach your family’s ethnic history)
- Relive a favorite experience
- Time period
- Historical event
- Botanical study
- Highlighting a specific food, such as a fruit or vegetable
- Highlighting a particular cooking technique
- Focus on ecological concerns
- Have a relaxing spa experience
Giving yourself a bit of ambiance with your meal will enhance your eating experience and add spice to your home life.
This is the third article in my short series, Treat yourself like company. Other articles in this series are:
Treat yourself like company: Cook and serve budget meals with elegance everyday