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by Francesca Di Meglio
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by Cookie Curci
Una Mamma Italiana
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Food For Thought
Research Reveals Students Who Dine at Home With Family Make Higher Test Scores
Continued from page 1
by Cookie Curci
His little ritual was always a part of our family's holiday meal. And, like most Italian-American kids, I grew up with anticipation for this dinner time meal and the closeness shared with family.
As each family milestone occurred--baptisms, first holy communions, confirmations, and birthdays, graduations and marriages-- festive dinner tables were set so that all the family members could partake of the celebratory dinner ritual. And today, as I sit down at this same, old, table I can't resist the urge to stroke my hands over its rich woods surface, and to feel all the tiny nicks and scratches left behind by each passing generation.
At every meal, Grandma's dinner table was covered with platters of her home cooking I'll always remember the lively chatter and heart-warming laughter that passed over the table at every meal. It was a reason for celebration just to be seated all together at Grandma's table.
The aroma of her kitchen spices and slowly simmered spaghetti sauce teased our appetites all day long so that by dinnertime we were famished. We couldn't wait to indulge in a platter of handmade noodles and meatballs covered in tomato sauce.
Immediately after dinner it was a family ritual to clear the dishes from the table and then sit down again to play card games, dominoes or to play the mysterious and intriguing Ouija board. Some of my happiest times were spent at that table, where we would visit late into the night, sipping on cups of Grandma’s strong espresso and playing board games. Sometimes, we'd just sit quietly listening to the oldest member of the family spin exciting tales. Other times, our Grandparents would recall some funny little anecdote about each of their grand kids.
Recently, I went out shopping for a replacement chair for my beloved but aging family dinner table, I was told by a sales clerk that dinning room table sets, as I once knew them, are not as popular as they once were. And that most new homes don't have a formal dining room. And finding a chair to match my table would be almost impossible.
It turns out that the salesperson was right about one thing, families aren't sitting down together at big dinner tables every night, not like they did in my youth. I decided to do some research on this new trend in family dining and what I found out really wasn't too surprising.
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