Over the past couple of months, our family (which, it seems, is rarely in the same place at the same time — and conscious — except for 6:30-7am or so) has begun to develop a weekly ritual. I refer to it, with great deliberation and fondness, as Whine and Cheese night.
It started when elfin called me on a Monday around home-going time, and would I bring home some soup ingredients? Whole Foods provided the soup ingredients, and also some tempting small pieces of cheese (1-2oz each). The size allows for a bit of experimentation, and also for a variety of flavors. Right next to the cheddar was a lovely bowl of Braeburn apples, so one of those came as well, and a plain hearth roll.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the rest of the family home when I arrived. “If I’d known you were here, I would have brought more bread,” I said. “I guess we’ll have to help you eat it anyway” was more or less the sentiment. elfin brought out a small glass of port, those of us who don’t much like alcohol had some perfectly decadent grape juice, and in all we did considerably more giggling than whining.
This seems, to my considerable pleasure, to be developing into a ritual. Most recently it was marked by my coming home on a Monday, considerably underslept and (oh dear) grumpy, to find that K had brought home cheese, and we could all catch up with each other after most of a week away. After reducing some Sierra Mountain Tomme, some goodies from England, and a very tasty pear to crumbs and rinds (our dog says rinds are excellent dog treats, so she attends … attentively), we were reconnected and (speaking for myself, anyway) considerably less grumpy.
Having dinner together every night is a pleasant fantasy, but what with part-time jobs, sports, hobbies, it’s just unlikely to happen. A weekly ritual seems to be helping us to develop an ecological balance between time spent in the wider community and time spent refreshing our smaller community.