- The Fam
My new hobby heeds the nagging OCD madwoman within, while at the same time nurturing an ongoing wistful kitchen daydream I have while creating in the kitchen.
Before I go on and on– it’s a dinner diary.
I was introduced to the idea a couple of months ago when I came across, Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach, while browsing in the cookbook section of our public library and have spent the last month consumed with it after receiving it as a Christmas gift (thank you mother-in-law for taking my book requests seriously). Jenny writes at her blog, Dinner: A Love Story and her book is basically a memoir based around years of writing in her family dinner diary, it’s honestly lovely.
Until reading her unconventional cookbook, I never knew that dinner diaries were a thing. It’s a diary you keep in the kitchen to meal plan with, take food notes and document your dinner expeditions. It’s a sure way to document your day-to-day family memories along with family meals.
And I’ve been thinking, duh, why has this not occurred to me before? This simple activity is a mesh of so many things I have wanted in my life…
#1 Family Journaling.
In my blogging absence I have craved documenting family life. I have the worst memory, and so the thought of not documenting family life makes me really sad. Our dinner diary allows me to jot little notes about our daily life along with recipes and food notes. Sitting down together as a family for dinner has always been the constant in our busy lives and so this is a fun (and accurate) glimpse into our daily lives. Husband calls the dinner diary ‘real life blogging’, I just wish it included pretty pictures and then it would be perfect!
#2 Cooking Log.
I love to cook. Husband loves to cook. It’s a concrete, hands on, creative outlet for both of us when our jobs are so heady and for years we have talked about keeping a log for figuring out precise measurements in our recipes, having it to take notes on for things to change the next time we experiment with a meal or note who liked what. In our new diary, I also write out our weekly meal plans, review recipes, and pass on our own recipes for our kids. I think it will be a great dinner reference tool.
#3. Utilizing My Cookbook Collection.
I love reading cookbooks, like, cover-to-cover-don’t-forget-the-index, reading of cookbooks. But oddly, I never try any of the recipes! This seems really counter productive, right? I know. I am aware that at some point I was going to have to figure this out. So with this diary thing, I’ve had the inspiration to tab recipes as I read and then when we meal plan I can grab a cookbook and have access to pages of pre-meditated inspiration. AND THEN, when we make it during the week I can take notes on the recipe in our diary and cross-reference the notes by writing the diary date beside the recipe in the cookbook…genius right!? I’ve got a system!
So on to my dreamy sentiment…
Sometimes, when I’m doing my thing in the kitchen, I glance over to my small but growing collection of cookbooks on our kitchen shelf and I think about all the kitchens we have moved them to and from over the years. It starts me dreaming about the kitchens to come…
I can picture our grandchildren bursting through the front door and marching first thing into the kitchen where they gather for treats and to inspect steamy bubbly pots. In our future kitchen hub, our grandchildren find beloved cookbooks to flip through. Each care worn, marked up with chocolate fingerprints from their parents flipping through the pages as children, and tomato sauce splatters from cooking adventures past. I imagine them begging me to replicate yummy pictures and licking spatulas from frosting they’ve conned me into whipping up for the second batch of cupcakes in a weekend. From those cookbook pages, filled with decades of notes, I’ll help teach them to cook, just like I taught their parents, passing on history and tradition.
And one day, the cookbooks will be passed to the next generation to place on their kitchen shelves for their children to flip through when they gather together as a family. Isn’t it a sweet little dream?
Now we’ll have our family story to pass along through our dinner diary and hopefully start a family tradition that will last a very long time.
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