Saturday, March 10, 2012

Too Busy to Enjoy the Moment?

Have you ever felt so busy that you can't enjoy life? Or that you feel if you stop and relax for a moment, life will run away from you? Or that you are juggling a dozen flaming logs while pedaling a unicycle, and people are tossing you more and more?

It happens to everyone at times. But we need to remember that while we can not always control the exact situation in which we live, we can control how we react to these situations. When we are overwhelmed with deadlines and demands on our time, we need to find a way to sit back and recapture a little "me time" and "us time." And dinners are a great way to do that. Especially dinners that are a little out of the ordinary. Tonight, we were all home for dinner (a rarity). My wife Tammy and our son Ethan (as well as our pug Ozzy) were home and I wanted to have a special dinner with the family.

The meal was partly an old favorite (grilled flank steak, rubbed with crushed garlic, rosemary and black pepper, with bleu cheese mashed potatoes, sauteed mushrooms and onions, and a side salad) but then I decided to throw in a nice dessert.

Normally, dessert around here is a small bowl of ice cream, or maybe a strawberry shortcake in the summer. But I wanted to go outside the ordinary, and I wanted to make it myself rather than buying something at a bakery. I am more of a grill chef than a pastry chef, but I have some skills making baked goods, too.

I decided to make individual chocolate souffles based on a recipe that my wife gave me (just a subtle hint, right?) topped with fresh whipped cream and powdered espresso granules. I hope it does not sound too immodest, but this dessert was to die for. I don't make a lot of souffles (they are rather painstaking) but every time I make them, it turns an average to good meal into a meal worth remembering.

The dinner table is the heart of almost every home. Take time to enjoy your meals with family and friends. And take time when you sit there. Enjoy their company. Have good conversations. Laugh a lot. This is not where you "spend time" as if you are squandering a precious resource, but rather this is living in the moment, relishing a time that can never be regained once it is gone. And good food can help draw together the people that are most important.

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