Hi everyone. A good friend of ours passed away this week after a valiant struggle with cancer. Although it is unspeakably sad , I am writing about it because of how he inspired my family. He lived his life in the moment, cherished his family and was driven not by money or ambition, but by positive connections and interactions with family, friends and acquaintances. He and his wife made a point of making family the center of their lives.
During his illness, my husband and I became inspired to make more of an effort to spend quality time with family. One of the ways we decided to shift gears was to start having family dinners whenever possible. It is so easy to get into a routine where the children eat before the adults, eating separate meals. It seemed like more work at first, but we eventually got into a rhythm, had the kids eat a little later , and the kids even started eating more varieties of food that they refused to eat before. There was actually a study discussed in the NY Times in October stating that children eat healthier when they eat with the family, even when the TV is on.
Family meals, even if eaten together only one time a week, can be a great time to reunite as a family, allow children to engage in an actual conversation with their parents and siblings and to create memories. It is so easy to get caught up in our fast paced culture and to eat on the run. It does actually takes a commitment to make the family dinners happen but there is a great emotional and health payoff for everyone involved. It is also a great opportunity to set reachable goals for meal preparations, especially if it is just once a week.
Here’s a really easy recipe that is fool proof:
Maple Soy Salmon:
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 6 oz. salmon filets
In a sauce pan, boil 1/2 cup soy sauce and 1/2 cup maple syrup until it is syrupy. You must watch over this and stir continuously because if you let it go too long, it will burn. It should take about 10 minutes but don’t quote me on that-every stove top has different levels of heat intensity. Just watch it and stir. Don’t go multi-tasking, checking your mail or folding laundry because it WILL burn while you are gone. When it is syrupy, set aside.
Bake at 350 degrees or pan fry salmon until it is opaque in the center. If you are frying, use a little olive oil and if you are baking use parchment paper in a baking dish (If you have not bought parchment paper-go do it NOW!)
Pour the syrup over the salmon. Save the leftover sauce for another day in a tupperware in the fridge. Serve this sauce to your kids with tofu, chicken, other fish or vegetables.
I wish you all many happy mealtimes with family and friends in 2008. Bye-Bye….