There are some women out there who seem to overachieve the pants off of the rest of us. Environmentalist, author, producer and mother of two Laurie David is one of those ladies. Her latest project is The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect With Your Kids, One Meal at a Time, a cookbook/memoir/inspirational ode to the importance of family mealtime.
David has packed the book full of easy tips on everything from how to set the table for take-out Chinese food, ways to get the kids to taste everything on the table, dinner table conversation starters, and of course, greening your dinner experience. David even devotes a whole chapter to family dinners after divorce — something she had to face after her split from husband Larry David. I was moved by her writing about their unorthodox decision to “nest” (“when a split couple move back and forth in and out of the shared house so that the kids don’t have to.”) for the sake of keeping the family dinner alive.
It’s fun reading advice from the author’s celeb friends, including Nora Ephron, Alice Waters, Mario Batali, Bette Midler and Sheryl Crow who weigh in with advice and dinner table memories. Plus with a foreword by Dr. Harvey “The Happiest Baby on the Block” Karp and an afterword by Jonathan Safran Foer, you know this is not your average cookbook.
I find the recipes themselves to be really good and super-easy to follow. There’s black bean soup, arroz con pollo and a very tasty “pea nutty noodles,” which I made for lunch the day after I got the book. Full disclosure: my son watched Sesame Street as he ate the noodles…does that still count as family mealtime?
Find The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect With Your Kids, One Meal at a Time by Laurie David from The Family Dinner Book website, or from Amazon.