My Grandma always used to say that "Good Food brings people together!"
Before becoming a Mom I had my own little bakery and I was doing pretty well with my signature cakes and pastries. Well I still do bake for family and friends and I do take orders too depending on my spare time.
More than just the money, I love to see and be a part of the happiness my cakes bring to people.
It really touches me when they get together, sit together and celebrate love.
I live with my husband and three teenage daughters, in the countryside, we had to move away from city life due to my husband's health condition. It took time for us to get adjusted with the new ways but here we are doing just fine.
I have to say that living in the countryside the air I breathe feels a lot cleaner, people are more connected and everyday life feels more stress free.
Still I must say that living away from my big, loud and loving family, I miss them a great deal.
I had so much fun growing up in our huge house being part of a large and extended family.
We all loved eating the delicious meals cooked by Mom, Granny, Aunts and Uncles. But it was always Granny's meals that stole the show and won our hearts and tummies - her cooking was just out of this world.
Eating together was the best part but we all had so much fun during meal prepping. Everybody, even the dads and the kids would gather in the kitchen, it was one boisterous affair. The aroma of peeling and chopping veggies, large pots of soups and stews and meats getting roasted, cakes and bakes filled the house .
It's easy to find where my love for food and baking came from.
Everybody pitched in whenever we did any work in the house and Granny always made the family sit together to talk about stuffs during difficult times.
Meal times were routine and we never missed it. If we did, well there won't be any food left!
Imagine what a circus it would be with a dozen kids fighting over food. We all made so much noise chattering away, snatching food from each other's plates, laughing, crying and sometimes breaking glassware too and we would end up being sent off to bed with no dessert.
Granny had the biggest heart but she also had this badass side too that nobody dared to mess with.
I still remember the time when the new neighbours moved in and granny invited them over for dinner. It seemed like some kind of military induction, with Granny acting as a warden.
She was just talking to her family - but it always sounded more like a command!
"Now hear, I will not tolerate arguments of any sorts, no fights and no debates, that includes no blaming and shaming, and being nasty" at this point she would point and shake her finger " Strictly no swearing or curse words - or you leave the table". And all in one breath she would say "Grace".
And that's like a call for us to attack the heavenly feast of a spread she had laid on the table.
The new neighbours stood still, puzzled and dumbfounded. It took them time to learn that Granny was just being Granny. The whole neighbourhood knew that she would be the first person to turn up if anyone was in trouble.
Those were such happy times and today dear old Granny is missed much and forever remembered for her kind soul and lively spirit, not to mention her witty remarks.
We all are grown up now and living in different places or have moved due to work, education, kids and so on but we always get together on holidays to reminisce and reconnect.
And I'm ever so glad that I'm able to instill in my children the positive family values I grew up with.
I know there is so much more to life than just eating together but what I do believe is that our dining table has the potential to strengthen our family bonds.
It provides a daily time for the whole family to sit together; to share meals, our thoughts, our feelings and as a channel for catching up on daily life.
I live by the same cardinal rule my family lived, obviously one set by Granny,
"Meal times are for the whole family to relax, rejoice and reconnect - it's what you call a happy hour!" she used to say time and again.
The whole point behind this rule is to make our meal times a pleasant time. Whoever came up with the notion surely wanted to indulge in food and be happy while eating it.
Wait a minute isn't that what's meant by "comfort food".
I just looked it up!
Comfort food: food that provides consolation or a feeling of well-being, associated with childhood or home cooking.
Wasn't I right!
Still the point I'm trying to prove here is, when you eat your comfort food while you are in a fight - is it comforting at all????
There is a bit of psychology behind it too, I mean, when you make it a habit to talk and do unpleasant things over dinner your brain might soon start associating the unpleasantness you feel with the food you eat.
Without us knowing it, when we make it a habit to constantly bicker and complain about others and our problems during meals, we have a higher probability to stress eat, which as you know can make you overeat.
For some, stress during meals can make them lose their appetite.
So guys just leave your phones and all other distractions.
Get together and whip up some great tasting food that the whole family can enjoy as one; allowing even the kids to help themselves to whatever parts of the meal they want to.
Make it a fun time for everyone.