Judy L. reviewed a new product from Stouffers called Sautes for Two, see her comments here, she also included a promotion to get people to talk about how they make ordinary dinners into extraordinary.
I came from a large family of eight kids, family dinners was always a feat to prepare and get everyone together, but Mom was always successful. She made it a point to have a sit down dinner with no TV (which was easy since the TV was downstairs). Being in a large family, I remember some arguements about who would sit at the head of the table along with elbow room, my older brother solved that. When he was in high school he took a woodworking class and made an octagon shaped table (at this time there were only 6 kids, totalling 8 with parents), each person had their own side of the table with room for elbows.
Making these dinners special, on Sunday we would pull out the nice lace table cloth, the good plates (sometimes the china), good glasses and matching utinsels. We tried a couple times to have a nice centerpiece but with that many people at the table we needed to put all the food somewhere. So the centerpiece would get moved around as the food was placed on the table until finally it was removed to get it all on.
During my single life, special dinners were always with my best loved friends. We would have a wonderful spread and variety of food, and have great conversations. Later we would pull out the deck of cards and try to 'clean each other's clock' at a rousing game of 'Not Necessarily Rum' and laugh until late into the night.
Today, with just the three of us, our table it a lot smaller and still sometimes there is no room for a centerpiece. Sunday dinners are spent eating wonderful meals that are prepared in the crockpot or other special dishes that everyone enjoys. To make these extraordinary I like to pull out the China, Stemware and Silverware.
What are your special dinner memories and how do you make your dinners extraordinary?