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Family Dinners

From Stone Mountain, Georgia

Family Dinners
by: Anthony Valentine

The dinner table can be one of the best places to bring your family together. Eating a nice home cooked meal with your whole family is a wonderful experience, and can bring great discussion, or humor to everyone attending. My family has a wonderful pasta dinner every Sunday night.

My mother spends all day preparing her sauce, meatballs, and whatever else it takes to create her masterpiece. After hours of preparing it's finally done. The family gathers at the dinner table and begins the feast. On Sundays we always sit at the dinner table. Your asking, where else would you sit?

Well, during the week we have an island counter top which we eat our meals at. The island is simply more convenient, and easy to use for my mother when she's cooking. For our Sunday feast, we always set the dinner table, and sit at the table together to eat our meal.

I look forward to every Sunday for a number of reasons. The main reason being I love to eat, and I love to eat pasta more than anything. We are an Italian family and we all enjoy a fabulous pasta dinner every week. Besides the eating part of our feast, I enjoy joining my family and starting conversation.

It's not often you get to sit down with your whole family at once for an extended period of time. Being able to talk to my all my brothers at once is pretty cool. I got three brothers, and having them all there at once can be quite exciting. Asking one brother one thing can lead to a fun conversation, or sometimes a ruthless argument. Overall it's a fun experience and you get to learn a lot about your siblings, and/or parents.

My brothers all attend school, and two of them work full time jobs, theres just no time to spend time with them. Having a weekly dinner is a very exciting aspect of our family. No matter what is happening that week, I know that the upcoming Sunday I will see my whole family whether it's at our dinner table, or simply out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants. Not everyone can make it every Sunday, but that's understandable and we forgive them. Most Sunday's we have the whole family attending, including my grandma, who I feel is the most important person at the dinner table.

My grandma, who we call "nuni" or "nonna" which is Italian for grandmother. Our nonna came over from Italy over 50 years ago on a boat, and has never been the same since. I love talking to her at the dinner table about the old times in the old country. She teaches us some cool things about cooking, and just being Italian in general. Sometimes my nunna will teach us some Italian phrases, or secrets to different things that she's learned over in Italy. I love comparing her different ways to go about doing certain things to the way we do certain things over here in America, it's very interesting.

One of the coolest things I've learned from my grandmother is how to make homemade pasta. My grandmother grew up in a village in Sicily, and was taught to produce her own pasta noodles when it came to their family feasts. Learning how to make my own homemade pasta was easily one of the coolest things I've learned from here. I currently attend the University of New Hampshire for Culinary Arts, and cooking happens to be my passion.

Having my grandma around is so awesome, and I learn a lot from her every day. She taught me the basics of using a Pasta Machine, and how to make my own pasta from scratch. After a few hours of preparing our noodles, our product was done. I had produced enough pasta for weeks! We ate the homemade pasta later that night and it was fantastic. May not taste like it was store bought, but it definitely tastes homemade, and delicious.

The moral of the article is to make more people aware of the power of food, whether your preparing it or eating it. Take advantage of your family dinners, who knows how much longer you'll have with them. Whether you sit and enjoy the presence, or strike a conversation with your family members, a family dinner is a great way to gather the family each week. 



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