Wednesday, May 23, 2012

play with your food

I wish I could say I love it when my kids make a creative mess, but I can't.

I'll admit it, it makes me a little stressed. It seems as though it always happens the hour before dinner. There will be homework, pens, pencils, crayons, dominoes, books, whatever takes their fancy strewn across the table.

Tonight was no exception, in fact tonight it was a bigger mess than usual. The mess was (of course) a good mess, a map of Terreria. For that hour a huge sheet of cartridge became an imaginary world containing rivers, rocky terrain, hide outs, and underground mines. Kudos to my enthusiastic husband for taking a computer game and translating it to paper and keeping Phoenix off the laptop. He was making it easy, sitting with Phoenix in his lap, taking turns drawing and colouring.  Just nice.

Where there is pen and paper and drawing it is difficult to keep Beatrix away. She claimed her little corner, too.  Then more than a corner, then she's still working on it when everyone else has moved on to something else.  Probably go back and work on it tomorrow, too.

Here is where this story of play spilt over into food, it's always about the food with us isn't it?

The table being the colossal mess that it was, we could have either stalled dinner and cleared it up (and risked a thick-set polenta) or we could pour it out onto chopping board and eat it right there. That's how my mother tells us she and her family did when she was little in Italy. Kudos again to Aaron for suggesting that tonight.

I didn't take much convincing, and it was pleasantly like my mother describes the experience. We stood around the chopping block eating hot creamy polenta with mascapone and parmasen, bubping elbows and laughing and chatting. Aaron and I had spicy Italian pork sausages, and there were some lovely beef ones for the kids.  We also had Broccolini and Chinese broccoli sautéed in garlic to go with it all.

But the before-dinner activities had put us in mood of maps. We lay out our rivers and hills in polenta, a rain of parmasen covered the moors, and we were giants wielding sausages, claiming victory when we'd eaten away our section of polentenous terrain. And they ate it all, kudos again again!

If you'd like Beatrix's sure-fire recipe for the polenta we had, it's here. I wish I had the recipe for the love, the laughter, the pure joy of family we had.  I'd sure share it around if I did.

tools of the trade 1I  tools of the trade 2III  the whole world curl a wild hexagon appears calm in the storm pour leave a little the first stone is cast lines are drawn let loose the dogs of war Sweden always wins


  1. hello. how are you? gosh, what a fabulous way to eat. i love this and i love these photos. a lesson in sharing and lots of love. xo

  2. What a great way to eat with your the warmth in your photos!

  3. Im so surprised that stresses you out - I cant imagine you stressed! Thanks again for blogging :D Samantha Blog Fan

  4. I'm like you I stress when things are the way that the 'should' be but you have shown us that was should be the way is family whether it's eating at the dinner table or at the bench on a cutting board. You know I bet everyone will remember that polenta meal fondly and ask for it again and again. xx

  5. What a gorgeous way to share a meal! Looks delicious. x