At the risk of this space sounding like a personal blog, sharing with you what my family did the other night to alleviate the monotony of quarantine, in the hopes that it might relieve yours.
In this digital day and age we think we have never been so connected and so wired but we've never actually been so out of touch. (I have yet to reinforce my no-gadgets-on-the-table rule which I also have the tendency to defy.)
Pre-lockdown, date nights were few and far between especially on busy retail months but were also sacred, something our little family gladly looks forward to.
Come lockdown, we're together 24/7. What now? How do we approach quality family time now that we're together. All. The. Time? Gone were the family date nights we so look forward to. Now we're all confined in one space where days just bleed into nights and our eating schedules are so messed up, we actually have lunch at 4pm!
So the other day I solicited Mischka's help to put together dinner at our living room to surprise her dad for family date night.
Tip no. 1 Make an invite.
Throwing parties (big or intimate) always start with an invite. Invitations set the mood and allows your guests to get excited. I usually send e-vites to my guests though my personal preference are good 'ole paper, snail-mailed invites. In this case, I asked Mischka to make one and hand deliver it to her dad who's buried deep in conference calls in our bedroom.
Tip no. 2 Select a venue at home.
I chose our living room so we can use the low coffee table and sit on the floor. Make sure to pick a corner in your home that you can dress up a little and create an illusion of 'dining out.' Candles usually do the trick.
This can be at a balcony if you live in a condo or your backyard/ front yard if you're lucky to have one.
Tip no. 3 Plan your menu. Fancy is not necessary.
While a Japanese fare would have been ideal for our low-seating set up, our kitchen skills and our kitchen itself are not equipped to do Japanese.
So we settled for a simple spread of salad, chicken for Mischka, and a cheese platter. We also opened a bottle of wine we reserved for special occasions. Because, when else?
Tip no. 4 Table setting is key.
Perhaps my most favorite part. Table setting for me is just an important as menu planning. For what good will your piquant dishes be if presentation is lousy?
If you haven't already, invest in good dinnerware and flatware that will elevate your dinning experience no matter how simple your meal is. For our date night in, I settled for a muted mood anchored by our ombre dinner plates.
To get the look, may I suggest:
Said ombre plates are currently sold out but I find this set to be versatile enough that you can play it up for a vibrant spread or down for a muted look.
Lest we forget placemats.
Just as important, cheese knives.
Tip no. 5 Document your date night.
Gadgets may be off-limits on date nights but make sure to document these moments as they will be so special to share to your children and grandchildren later on.
Tip no. 6 Have fun!
Goes without saying, my best tip yet is to enjoy each other's company and celebrate this time of our lives, that in spite of it all, it is still a good time to be alive.
Thanks for staying in with us!
Air hugs and kisses,