So last night we gave the "French Eating" principle a trial run. I put a tablecloth on our coffee table (where we usually eat due to the lack of dining room), turned OFF the tv (what we normally do during dinner), and put on some music (Big band and swing to start, classical to finish).
We began with an aperitif made of white wine (something Italian, not sure, couldn't translate the label), cherry juice, and a little sugar. We also had an appetizer of devilled eggs. Then came the minestrone. There was good bread (sesame and jalapeno/cheese baguettes, sliced, and real butter on the table at all times.
We moved on to an main course of slowly roasted chicken thighs in an asian sauce, along with roasted potatoes and carrots with garlic. Then it was time for the salad, simply baby romaine with a homemade vinaigrette.
After that was a cheese course (Snofrisk, a soft, edible chevre; whole milk mozzarella slices; and an aged English cheddar, along with crackers and cherries, and more wine.
For dessert, lemon pound cake topped with macerated blackberries and freshly whipped cream. Dinner took nearly 2 and a half hours to complete. We took time between courses to talk and let our food settle a bit, and the portions on everything were small.
The whole experience was very enjoyable, without the telly on, we could concentrate on our food and talking to each other. How all this will fly with my 14 yr old teen terror who can't normally be torn away from the computer for dinner remains to be seen when she comes home on Friday. Her computer has been blocked from the hours of 4 pm to 6 pm (which I may extend to 7 pm), and she won't be able to eat in her room, so getting her used to this may unsettle the current soothing aspects of dinner temporarily, but I am determined to get into this new groove to promote better eating habits and better health.