Shared Meals

Shared Meals

I have an April birthday and our family makes an effort to celebrate each occasion, something I love to do. When I was asked what I wanted to do, the answer was simple: Come to the house, let’s share a meal.

I know. We could have gone to a restaurant and mostly that’s what we do. We’re all supremely busy. Can you relate? So sometimes it’s easier or just plain-old preferred to enjoy a shared meal at a restaurant. But for my birthday, I wanted everyone in my home.

We kept it simple with cold cuts, cheese slices, potato salad (two kinds), a cracked wheat salad, carrot sticks, an assortment of olives (my faves are a Kalamata in olive oil from Trader Joe’s), potato chips, good bread (gluten-free for me and my daughter), blueberries, blackberries, and all kinds of beverages including a sweet pink Prosecco. (I’m a fan of the color pink and of sparkling wines.) Instead of a birthday cake, I asked my daughter to head to our favorite gluten-free bakery and pick up a variety of to-die-for cupcakes. With two grandchildren under the age of 6, the cupcakes were a big hit.

We have three birthdays this summer and we’ll be getting together in a couple of weeks to celebrate them all. My guess is we’ll be heading to my daughter’s favorite restaurant which serves excellent gluten-free pizza. But where we go hardly matters. We get to be together and that means more to me than anything else in the world.

What inspired this blog was seeing some photos of tables all set and ready for dining. What is your favorite shared meal?

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***This Week’s Giveaway is Closed!!!***

The winner is Dianne K.C.! Congratulations!

August Winners: Pansy P., Tamara K., Marie S.

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*** This week’s giveaway! *** To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about shared meals. What shared meal do you love most? Is there a food you enjoy serving or something that is considered a family tradition when you all get together? Which photo did you like best? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart. 

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29 thoughts on “Shared Meals

  1. I do love a family get together. Mostly we will have BBQ because it easiest with a large crowd. It’s my daughter’s birthday this coming Saturday. She has already put in a meal request – pizza & BBQ.

  2. I have always enjoyed getting together for our holiday meal, whatever the holiday. With everyone’s busy schedules it is the only time to bring us all together. I love the picture of the table setting over-looking the marina.

  3. I love to set an elegant table, cooking the meal – not so much. We frequently meet friends/family at restaurants and spend a couple of hours together. I love having a family and/or friends gathering in my home, too. My immediate family is rather small, so these gatherings are not very large and everyone has a chance to catch up on everyone else.

  4. I love to have meals with all of the family present. I currently live in a different state than most of my family, so it’s a treasured gift when we can be together. My favorite picture was the one by the ocean. Beautiful!

  5. We have an annual dinner every year and all the family members try to make it so it is a huge gathering! But always lots of love and fun!

  6. Shared meals of any group of relatives who are available since we are scattered in different states now are precious ..and we cant get everyone in the same place at the same time sadly ….it make me miss the olden days when the holidays were big groups around a common table …( best of times SIGH ) ….but spending times with those you love is always special regardless : )

  7. My favorite time is Christmas Eve where the whole family gets together-it’s a tradition in my family. Plenty of food and good times. In these times it’s hard to get the whole family together so I cherish this event. I love the picture that shows the ocean and mountains, what a great way to eat a meal.

  8. My favorite shared meal is Thanksgiving. We spend time together and cook a lot of food. We also start preparing for Christmas by getting decorations out and displaying them.

  9. My favorite is Thanksginving. Extended family in for a visit and shared thanksgivings instead of the traditional prayer. Lots of good food and fellowship. Lots of love.

  10. Every year growing up we would go see my grandma. We would travel from Chicago to Kentucky. She always had a big thanksgiving dinner and all of the family would come. The rest of the family lived in the same small 2 stop light town. Thanks!

  11. Hmm… that’s a tough question.
    I would have to pick Thanksgiving dinner.

    Everybody is happy.

    To this day I still can’t duplicate my mother’s herb bread stuffing. She didn’t have a written recipe, but I watched her make it every year.

    Maybe someday I will succeed.

  12. First Caris what is a cracked wheat salad? I’ve never heard of it. Could you give us the recipe? Second I love Thanksgiving & Christmas dinners. Like everyone else nowadays it’s hard to get together with everyone. I love to remember the meals we had growing up. My momma went all out at Christmas. Sadly she passed away a few weeks after my second daughter was born. That was 34 years ago so they are precious memories for me. It’s funny we still have the same 24 hrs in a day as we used to ,how has it become so hard to visit? Anyway it’s always special to get together with friends and family for a good meal. We do Christmas breakfast here at our house because of all the in-laws places the kids have to go to. Then about 3 we meet up at my oldest sisters house for dinner.and at thanksgiving we do dinner with my husband’s family.Sorry for such a long post guys sometimes I get carried away

    • Marie,
      Please keep getting carried away! I love hearing all the stories and traditions.

      As for the cracked wheat salad, it’s ethnic fare from the Middle East and Mediterranean. My husband is half-Armenian. His grandmother Lucy — full Armenian — was an amazing cook. Just amazing. She made a cracked wheat salad that was very simple and delicious: cracked wheat, parsley, onion and a light dressing. Unfortunately, I don’t have the recipe and because of my gluten intolerance I couldn’t eat it anyway. (Me, pouting…) For my birthday, DH bought a cracked wheat salad at Trader Joe’s and no, I didn’t have any. (Me, pouting some more…)

      Here’s a link to a cracked wheat salad recipe that has my mouth watering all over again:

      • Thank you Caris. It looks yummy. I have never had Middle Eastern or Mediterranean food. My granddaughter 2 loves olives. I say she must have Mediterranean in her lol.She is going through a picky eating phase so the other morning she had sausage and olives for breakfast.

        • Oh, too funny! My son ate an awful lot of salami when he was that age. My granddaughter loves hot chicken wing sauce on just about everything. She’s 5.

  13. What lovely pictures! My favorite shared meal is Thanksgiving. Even though it’s usually only my youngest brother, sister-in-law, our mother and myself, we carry on the traditions established by my mom’s mom and grandma: Turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, green jello salad, ham and doughnuts (a Slovenian thing), ending with strudel and potica (again, Slovenian) for dessert. We share the cooking and baking and it just feels like home for us. This is how we celebrate in San Bernardino county, California.

    • Merrie,
      Okay, I’m officially loving the ‘Slovenian’ thing! I think it’s wonderful, even if it’s just the four of you. Why not!

  14. Love those settings. Our family is growing so things will be changing this year as the DIL doesn’t want to go anywhere with a new baby (due 11-29). We always got together here on Christmas Eve but looks like it will be at their house. No more big meal – Carolina BBQ is what she says it will be ;).

    • Jovial,
      Even though the circumstances require a change, at least for the coming season, here’s hoping for a few more ‘big meals’ in the future.

  15. Actually, you’re writing about the pizza restaurant reminds me of our weekly meal with my son. Lately, we’ve been having pizza, too, and I have to get gluten free pizza as I have celiac disease. We enjoy each others company, even so.

    • Charlene,
      Pizza is a great get-together kind of food. Like you, I have to get the gluten-free pizza as well. I don’t have celiac, but I’m definitely intolerant, so I steer clear of gluten.

  16. When I was a kid, on Mother’s Day, we would head to my grandma’s or to Aunt Patsy’s and have our “May Birthday/Mother’s Day” dinner. Mom, Uncle Dave, Aunt Patsy and her husband Troy all had May birthdays. After grandma went into the nursing home, and the family had grown some, we started meeting at a fire hall which had a Mother’s Day dinner. Unfortunately, when grandma died in 93, this annual get-together ended.

    A few years later, we started having family reunions. Next one is in three weeks.


    • Denise,
      I’m glad you’re having the family reunions! That’s wonderful. It’s hard when things change. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time just for a few things. One would be to hold my babies again, the other would be to spend time with family members who have passed.

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