On the show we talk about traditions with family and friends. Table Talk is a new feature that where some of my fellow bloggers and friends share stories of their meal time traditions or “adventures in the kitchen.”. My friend Samantha blogs over at Scrappy Sam. I have known her for over ten years. We met at MOPS, Mothers of Preschoolers. As a working mom she needs quick meals to serve her family. She shares a quick meal and a mealtime tradition from their family. See the end for her adorable kitchen helpers!
“It’s now,” my son Kyle blurted out at the dinner table. “Now is the best part of my day for Peak and Pit.”
My husband and I looked at each other in surprise. Usually only burrito night or an exquisite meal prepared for a special occasion would garner the best part of the day status. I looked down at my plate full of ordinary broccoli and grilled chicken. Brilliant company aside, his declaration (translated from teen to human) probably meant my son had a horrible day.
From the time our three kids could sit at the table, playing Peak and Pit has been as common at dinnertime as someone saying, “Please pass the butter.”
To play the game, each person of the family shares the best and the worst part of their day. Often we laugh, occasionally we sympathize and sometimes we even cry together. Discerning the hurt and a tenuous warble in my son’s voice, it looked to me like there might be a few tears shed this very night.
“So Kyle, what was the pit of your day?” my husband gently probed.
“I dropped my new phone and it won’t work now.” Kyle said, his eyes pooling with moisture.
Now Kyle is generally a very rough and tough kind of kid, not easily prone to emotion, but in this instance, he had worked very hard to earn the money to purchase his new iPhone.
“What happened?” I asked. “Did it crack open?”
“No, it’s still in one piece. But it’s malfunctioning from being wet.” Kyle replied.
My husband finally probed a little deeper, “Kyle, where did you drop the phone, bud?”
Kyle looked at us, and then put his head down sheepishly. “I dropped it in the toilet. I was texting and it slipped out of my hand.”
We tried to hold it in. I put my head down and grimaced. Then a snort came out of my husband’s nose. But the first chuckle snuck out from my ten-year old daughter, and then one by one, we succumbed to insatiable guffaws.
A thunder cloud passed across Kyle’s face, and then gradually his dour look turned into a small smile and finally a loud giggle escaped. Our bellies ached as we chuckled in peals of laughter while the baby clapped her hands in delight at the uproar.
And while Kyle sharing his trauma clearly didn’t fix his mobile device, it certainly helped him to feel cared for and supported in the moment. Fortunately, a few days later after it dried out, the device started to work again. (Of course, now we call it the pPhone instead of the iPhone)
As I closed my eyes that night and cuddled into my pillow, I reflected on our little ritual of Peak and Pit, and the impact it has made on our family throughout the years. Every night, as we have dined together at the dinner table, this simple game has allowed our family a vehicle to communicate far beyond the business (and often shallow) small talk of life.
Now, as my son enters his teen years, these moments have become even more bittersweet, but I am comforted by the thought that each and every day I’ve gotten the highlights and the emotional boo-boos of their childhoods. Thanks to Peak and Pit, I haven’t missed a thing.
As a working mother of three faced with the daunting task of juggling busy sports schedules and finding time to prepare dinner, I turn to the Crock Pot as my rescuer of the family dinner hour. Over the years I have experimented with recipes, mixing and tasting until the perfect blend of taste and time efficiency have culminated in a great meal for both mom and the family. This meal can be assembled in the morning in less than five minutes with an additional five minutes upon arriving home. It is a delicious and fast dinner the whole family will enjoy.
Peak of the Day Burritos
by Samantha Keller
1 package Trader Joe’s Pollo Asada
1 ½ cup Grated sharp cheddar cheese
1- 8 ounce can of black beans
1 – 4 ounce can chopped green chiles
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
8 medium flour tortillas
4ounce can black diced olives
1/2 cup sour cream
Mild or Hot taco sauce
1 cup Diced tomatoes
1 or 2 Avocados, sliced
Combine pollo asada, green chili, and black beans in Crock Pot. Cook on low temp for 6-8 hours.
Assemble the remaining ingredients and place in individual bowls.
Heat the flour tortillas in microwave (placed in between paper towels) for 45 seconds or until warm.
Set up a station or place all ingredients on dinner table.
Serve the pollo asada/chili/bean mixture onto warmed tortillas. Add cheese, tomatoes, onions…