Uncle Eddie wasn’t actually my uncle. He was my grandfather. But to most everyone in the small town in Connecticut where I spent many summers growing up, he was known as Uncle Eddie.
Every Saturday morning, Uncle Eddie got up at some ridiculously early hour and headed for the kitchen. He started a pot of coffee as well as a kettle for tea. He began making pancakes, toast, bacon or sausage, and eggs prepared in a variety of ways. (I think he honed his kitchen/organizational skills as a cook in the Army.)
Friends, neighbors, and relatives from all around came to my grandparents’ dining room and back patio to eat. Just as important, they came to socialize, catch up on how everyone was doing, and hear the latest personal and public events of the week. There was a little gossip and lots of talk of religion and politics. (As a kid, those last two subjects bored me like nothing else could.)
Some folks stayed for 20 minutes. Some stuck around for the whole morning. Uncle Eddie made sure everyone who came got fed. And not just food for their tummies. They were fed with family bonding, love, and a strong sense of belonging (and religion and politics).
Those Saturday morning breakfasts are some of my fondest memories. I honestly don’t remember the taste of the food, but I do remember it just felt good to be with everybody.
December 3rd is Dine In Day.
It’s a chance to make a commitment to have a meal at home with family. Research tells us families are healthier in so many ways when they eat at home together. So, make the decision to eat with your family at home this December 3rd. I’m going to. And it will even be okay if my family starts talking religion and politics.
Oh, and one more thing. Some of our family at UF/IFAS Extension will be sharing their favorite family meals very soon. Maybe you can tell us about yours. Maybe you can be inspired to make new ones.