Tonight my family will be eating dinner with a family that lives next door. We used to eat together more often, but as our children have gotten older it's become more difficult. Tonight I will be bringing a meal I was planning to make in my Crockpot anyway, and my neighbor will be making a separate entree and the rest of the meal. It's really very nice to share food and eat together. We have the chance to connect and relax with one another when we spend time together during a meal.
I chose to write about this particular neighbor today though because she and I used to share meals in a fairly unique way that was helpful to both of us. Several years ago, I would cook dinner for her family every Monday night. She would cook for mine every Wednesday. Whatever I was making on Mondays, I would just double to have enough to feed two families. We used a big flat box from Costco to transport the meals. Often my older daughters would run the box over to their house on Mondays. And after working on Wednesday evenings, it was nice for me to come home to a prepared meal that I could just sit down to eat with my family. This system saved time for both of us, allowed us to feed our families good home-cooked meals, and helped us stay connected and in touch with each other.
This exact system may not work for everyone, but maybe it can spark some ideas of your own. If not a neighbor, maybe you have a relative or coworker nearby who would be willing to participate in some sort of meal sharing arrangement with you. It's hard to get a good tasting, home-cooked meal on the table every night. We don't always have to do it alone. There are ways that we can support each other and build community while still providing our families with healthy meals. I'd love to hear any creative ideas that any of you have tried.