Streams

Dinner with Dad

Monday, June 11, 2007

Cameron Stracher, a busy lawyer and father, explains how he carved out enough time to have dinner at home five nights a week for a full year.

Is making your own dinner a big priority for you?

Dinner with Dad is available for purchase at amazon.com

Events: Cameron Stracher will be speaking and signing books
Tuesday, June 12 at 1 pm
Borders Books and Music
100 Broadway, at Wall Street

Guests:

Cameron Stracher

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Comments [11]

jLev from New Jersey

I have built my present life around making and eating excellent quality dinner w my family! In order to shop (produce, meats, pastas, specialty foods, etc.), prepare food, as well as have time to learn new recipes and info ("How to eat a Peach" current bed stand reading -- wonderful book!) and as well as the magic chef secret, intimately understanding our food distribution system from supermarkets to importers and local farmers, I was required to find a way to earn $100-$200 per hour while working from home, which I have done (writing & consulting for investment-related businesses and also photography. Not hard to arrange, 15-30 hours per wk) And health insurance comes from my wife, who works at a job she likes. But living in NJ the diversity of ingredients here is so incredible -- within 10 miles I can buy at least 75 varieties of rice (though I stick w about 5 or 10) -- that it seemed like a crime to not take this path at least so long as my children are young and my family appreciative.

All that is required is someone to come and help clean the kitchen every few hours.

By the way -- we know we are very lucky for this period of life and I reflect on this each day many times.

Jun. 14 2007 08:59 AM
MK Ghiglia from San Luis Obispo, CA

Dinner at home while working as an exec. with 5 boys (and lots of visitors), large athletic italian family:

Cook 8 qts. of sauce on weekends
prepare separate trays of meatballs, store.
Make lots of rolls for sandwiches, etc.
Repeat. Vary menu. Teach them to assemble. come home and make a salad.

Dinner's is at 7, show up or get grilled yourself.

The table becomes the level playing field re: life choices. All college grads, all very successful. Sitting down to dinner, as much as possible, EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.

Jun. 11 2007 04:20 PM
jakes loverly from NJ

OMG, Michael (previous commenter) -- are you accusing NPR of being slightly preachy? Forget posting a comment to the website -- email the ombudsman!

Jun. 11 2007 04:20 PM
Michael Pagan from Morris County, NJ

I don't know why, but I find this segment on "Dinner with Dad" infuriating. The author is a lawyer choosing to live in Connecticut who has every option in the world as to how to live his life with his family. He can choose to eat dinner with his kids or not. Many people have no such choice.

I guess one of the things that makes me upset is that he goes on to obsess over the involved from-scratch meals he makes for his kids. I've got news for you: My wife and I both work, and we eat dinner as a family every night but OUR sacrifice is that we eat meals made from 3/4 pre-made stuff (Oh My God! Frozen vegetables! How awful) and don't try to cram tofu and okra down our kids throats. Our meals are simple and fast and we devote out time to actually sitting down at the table.

...and I subscribe to his Great Aunt's philosophy: Put it in front of the kids and if they don't eat, they don't eat. They can always have an apple and some crackers. It's not child abuse. Then again, most of the food we make is kid friendly.

Jun. 11 2007 01:25 PM
Rachel from Ridgewood, NJ

When we were growing up, we had the choice of eating what Mom fixed, or we could drink a tall glass of milk and go to bed. And if we complained too much, we usually got the glass of milk, even if we begged to be allowed to eat what had seemed distasteful.

My children got the same option, although they were generally great eaters. And now I watch as my son gives my 3-yr. old grandson the same option.

As for families eating together; 16 years ago we moved our family to Europe from Dallas in a total career change for my husband. Before this move, he saw his children for about an hour a day. For the 10 years after the move before our oldest child left home, our family ate lunch AND dinner together. I wouldn't trade the wonderful relationships we forged with our children during these meals for any amount of wealth he could have gained at his engineering job in the aerospace industry!

Jun. 11 2007 01:17 PM
Patrick F. from Manhattan

I make dinner for my partner and me every night. I plan every meal: tehy are usually well-balanced and healthy. I found over time, that with a little pre-planning the endeavor is easy and more enjoyable.

Jun. 11 2007 01:16 PM
monique from new haven

My husband and I made a commitment to eat dinner together when we got married nine years ago. It stuck and we eat together at least five nights a week. It will be natural for us when we have kids-we won't have to make a decision to eat together as a "family" because we already do.

Jun. 11 2007 01:15 PM
georgia jadick from ramsey, new jersey

I was a single parent of three small children and we had dinner together every night. That is when everyone shares in eachother's days. They are grown now and I know that times have changed to the point that having dinner with the family is a novelty. This errodes the family connections.
I cook now for my husband and myself because it is the best way to know what you are eating and watch your weight!

Jun. 11 2007 01:11 PM
Spartan from Westchester

Do it now before your kids become old enough to ignore you! Eatting together at the table and talking and enjoying the food is a great thing! We had "wingdings night" at home where dad made deep fried chicken wings with spicey sauce, kind of like a kid's version of buffalo wings, hot rolls and carrot salad (shaved carrots with mayo!!!) which we LOVED because it was pitched to us as a special kids night. We had paper plates and ice pops for desert. It all seemed so special! But was probably the cheapest easiest meal of the week.

Jun. 11 2007 12:52 PM
David from Manhattan

Totally important to prepare meals at home. Time with the family, control of what we're eating, and keeping a meal to a reasonable cost.

Jun. 11 2007 12:46 PM
Liliana from nyc

I'm an Italian citizen, and I grew up having regular sit down lunch and dinners. Times have changed, yes, but it is very important to make time to cook at home for 2 good reasons:

1) Family time, cooking/eating is a great family activity. Kids can help to cook. Dinner is a great place for good conversation and to relax from the grueling day
2) Good food! You know what you are eating versus buying from outside. Especially if you know good recipes

Buon Appetito!

Jun. 11 2007 11:10 AM

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