Eating out today is more than expensive. A meal, a drink or two, apps and/or desserts, and tip, and it can easily be a car payment! On top of that, you hope you have great service for the money you spent. Lately, the hospitality industry is short staffed and while I understand they are doing the best they can, I want great service for the money I spend.
Now is the time to sharpen your cooking skills and why not do it with family members? Make it a group event, learn how to make a new dish, and have everyone bring an ingredient. It doesn’t have to be complicated! Turn on some great music, pour the wine, and play some games after.
I call this food nostalgia, which is a sentimental reflection of a food experience or dish that people associate with a happy or meaningful time.
My daughter-in-law told my husband that a favorite memory of family beach trips as a young girl was cinnamon rolls for breakfast, so now when they come to visit us at the beach, he ensures we have those for her. My fondest memories of food are my Grammys gnocchis, and my Pop Pop walking to the corner store at the Jersey Shore and bringing back fresh bagels when he would go get the morning paper. My granddaughter loves clams, so she gets fresh clams when she's at the beach with us.
Sunday dinner in the winter is sauce and meatballs, and something on the grill with fresh local produce in the summer. When the family comes to visit us at the beach, I do a low country boil in the backyard.
Wouldn’t you rather have someone remember times when everyone was together, happy, and eating good food, rather than that “ one time at that restaurant insert the horrible experience here”? Now listen, I am not saying all restaurants are bad, I do love to eat out, but I have cut back for the reasons I list above.
Make some new memories in the new year, that everyone in your family will treasure.