Did your family have any traditions when you were growing up about dinner?
We did. Whoever was home first set the table. Whoever was home last did the dishes, the one next to home last dried. We had a dishwasher but Mom liked having the kitchen clean after dinner so it was our job to get everything clean and put away before the lights were turned off.
There was no TV in the dining room - can you even imagine? We would have conversations about what happened in our day, what might happen tomorrow, and over the weekend. There were no cell phones on the table, and if the phone rang, no one answered. We were having dinner and the phone was not allowed to interrupt the time we set aside to be together.
After the table was set, we were all expected to stay close so that when Mom said "dinner was ready," everyone would settle around the table for a warm meal. Nothing out of the microwave, this was a warm dish out of the oven, or from the top of the stove, cooked from a recipe out of a favorite recipe book or a favorite recipe card kept in a recipe book. If there was some sort of bread, and a vegetable dish, it would be timed so that all three were served warm at the same time, quite a feat when I think about that today, not to mention desert.
When I became a stepmom and was coordinating my own home-cooked meals, I remember taking cues from her dinners including freezing meals ahead. I never did quite get the "hang" of repeatedly following recipes but then I didn't set the kitchen on fire, either.
I will say no more.