Making Bread and Breaking Bread

A few of us were throwing around an idea to make portable breakfast items that we could send along with our family members as they hurried out the door on busy mornings that were a little more substantive than buttered toast.  We considered some sort of savory muffins or hearty breakfast cookies but then this recipe for Chorizo & Wisconsin Cheddar Biscuits landed in my inbox from Wisconsin Cheese.  (Click here to link to their blog).  The biscuits sounded far too delicious to pass up even if they weren’t quite worthy of meal-replacement status. And they were delicious! They go well alongside an omelet and hold their own when eaten with a spicy bowl of chili but they were good all by themselves, too.

The four of us meet at one member’s house each Thursday we get together – it’s been happening about once per month – and the person who hosts for the day does the recipe planning and shopping.   Before everyone leaves at the end of each day, we split up the costs amongst the four of us.  We meet in the late morning and then eat lunch at some point before parting ways – as a part of our time together.   There is a great deal of sharing that goes on in the several hours we’re together in the kitchen, and not any one part of our experience is better than another, but this habit of breaking bread together; sharing a meal ourselves before we carry home the meal we’ve prepared for our families; is a sort of a secular communion.

And that’s precisely the experience I want to recreate for my family each night.  It isn’t the promise of higher grades; or lesser experimentation with alcohol, drugs or sex; or lower rates of childhood obesity that have me focusing on offering a family meal each evening – although those are attractive benefits.   It’s simply the deep appeal of having a time to reconnect with each member of my family within the boundaries of our whole family unit: creating memories together, sharing stories or problems, discussing our days.

And in a time when after-school activities or work or other obligations have us running in all different directions, it’s easy for time to pass before our evening meal is planned.  This is how cooking for our families has become a dreaded chore.  If this is ringing true for you, consider gathering three or four of your friends together while the kids are in school or on the weekends to cook one family meal together.  It’s one less meal you have to make during the week – and it’s a wonderful tradition of sharing.

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