Families Dinners – It’s a Team Sport

Whether it’s for the holidays or just normal meal times, how families split the work load of getting dinner on the table is as varied as the domiciles in which they reside.  How does your family split the work load? – and ordering pizza doesn’t count!   In our family if one cooks, the others clean.  I do most of the planning and the shopping, but that’s because it’s a part of my writing and catering world too.  Since I do the lion’s share of the cooking, there are other things that Jon does that make our household run smoothly.

When I was marching for women’s rights in college you would have never been able to convince me that our roles would be so traditional.  Now I find that I care less than a whit about who’s a man and who’s a woman and what jobs they are doing as long as everyone’s pitching in somehow to make the household run well.

In any case, when we were away for Thanksgiving, I found myself bumping up against the typical family dynamics and share a little of that with everyone in this week’s column.  I know I’m not the only one who had to decide between a football game and doing their part to clean up the dishes after a big family meal.  Oh, and a brunch recipe for a Healthy Strata and one for Parmesan Potato Gratin.

Just doing my share

Zucchini and Summer Squash Gratin

There can be too much of a good thing!  Zucchini is one of them.   It’s “lock-your-car-door-season”  in Maine.  If don’t, you may find your car stuffed with huge, gargantuan-seeded zucchinis, courtesy of a “friend” who, in the spring, thought that they needed to plant 6 zucchini plants in their garden to feed their family of four!  This gratin is one of the many delicious things to do with this versatile vegetable.  During the summer, this could even become a first course with a garden salad and the ever present loaf of crusty bread.  A little good extra virgin olive oil and you are all set.

Zucchini & Summer Squash Gratin

2 medium zucchini
2 medium summer squash
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs
3-4 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice zucchini and summer squash into 1/4 inch slices. Fan them neatly into the bottom of a 9×13 non-reactive (enamel or stainless steel) pan. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper and bread crumbs. Drizzle with the olive oil. Bake for 40 minutes.

Serves 4-6

Colorful dinner, here we come!

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