Growing up at the Table

This short essay by Michael Simic took me back to days of listening to grownups solving all life’s problems with a lot of embellishment and a great deal of laughter.  I too was much more interested in listening to the adults talk than playing with the other children. Click on the quote for the essay.

Even with all the cooking shows on television and all the thousands of cookbooks available in bookstores, fewer and fewer people have the time to cook at home and invite friends over. Thinking about it the other day, I realized that most of what I learned about my family members and their lives I heard over family meals. More than that, some of the stories I still tell my friends I first heard some relative or family friend relate over a long dinner or Sunday lunch more than sixty years ago

In Denmark, at this time of year, they spend three or more hours at dinner.  They hunker down for the winter, turn off the overhead lighting and use lots of candles.  They call it “Hyggeliq op”  pronounced “Hugh gleeg”  or “to cozy up”.  In the summer, they spend their time out in the long sunny days.  But when it gets overcast and cold, they spend more time with family and friends and “cozy up”.  They even stay out at the cafes that line the harbor.  They have beautiful big stadium type blankets on every chair and a heat lamp at the table.  There they knock back some hot toddies wrapped in their blankets.  So if you are in a place where there is cold and snow, have more dinner parties and “cozy up” and solve all the problems of the world.

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