As a Chef, there are many times when I must work late and through the evenings. Unfortunately, it is a requirement of the job. So, when I do get a night off, I make sure we are all able to get together as a family and enjoy uninterrupted family time. The fast pace of modern life often means many of us will struggle to make the time to simply sit and relax with our families, yet when we do make the effort, the results are something money cannot buy!
Just recently, we decided to make our family night an official night. Whatever night gets put on the calendar each week for family night, all other plans are on hold whilst it takes place. The phones are switched off, the TV and consoles are switched off and we create our own food and entertainment.
Our Rodriguez Family Night Ritual
I realised some weeks back that we had effectively made this our Rodriguez family tradition! What I love to see is how all the kids, no matter what their age, look forward to this night and start planning their own little ideas as soon as my wife writes that all important confirmation date on the kitchen calendar! There’s then a race to see who can get the first idea written down for a suggestion. You see, I believe in allowing the kids to all work together and make their own decisions on what the night should be about. This includes:
Food Choices: The kids decide what the menu will be for this week, and what they will need to buy and cook to achieve this.
Music Choices: As the TV is firmly switched off, we turn to music! The kids have built up some impressive family food night playlists on Spotify of late! Once they know the theme, they start adding a few songs each day to get us happily through the evening.
Activity Choices: Sometimes, we all just want to relax on this night; so, food, music and family members are often all that we require. However, there are other times when we all need to have a laugh – and this is when the activities come in. The children will make up a game to match the food theme and this will be our evening’s entertainment!
I can see these family food nights lasting for many years to come – perhaps even taking them into the next generation! But, what I ultimately hope they do is encourage my children to further develop a love of food and realise that food can be exciting and fun if we use it in the right way.