Live at the witching hour

It's long been called the witching hour--that space of time between afternoon naps and a meal on the table. I threw all caution to the wind a couple weeks ago and decided to broadcast live from my kitchen on Periscope for just a few minutes of the witching hour. Nearly every day.

Last summer was a tough one. And when I contemplated all the things I wanted to change or do or hope or pray (because I'm off the chart INFJ), I mostly just wanted to reclaim dinner. I wanted wholesome, thoughtful meals. I wanted everyone in his seat at the table. (They always sit in the same place and it matters to me.) I wanted conversation and laughter and us. Really, I mostly wanted us. 

So I read Dinner: A Love Story and Dinner: The Playbook: A 30-Day plan for Mastering the Art of the Family Meal for inspiration. And I was inspired. I was inspired by the enthusiasm the author has for family meals. I was inspired by her candor when she acknowledges how evasive those dinnertimes can be. And, really, I was inspired by her recipes, even though I consider myself a pretty accomplished family cook. 

I promised my family we'd eat a home cooked meal every night in September. then, I went all crazy and promised an unknown number of people that I'd pop into Periscope while cooking said dinner every day and let you know what we were up to. Further, I'd do with my kids on camera, since they were critical to dinner prep. I'm totally shy. I have no idea why I thought this was a good idea.

But it's been fun. We've had dinner at the table every night that we've been in town. And i've been on periscope several of those nights. I haven't even tried to 'scope with weekend nights and a couple of weeknights, it was either cook dinner and eat or periscope about it. But I couldn't swing both. Usually people Periscope selfie-style. But since I'm cooking on mine, I need a video guy. And he has a life, too, so, sometimes it just didn't happen. 

But mostly it did. And we'll continue at least through Setpember. You can find me on Periscope @elizabethfoss. I'll try to get better about tweeting and posting to Facebook when I know what time we'll be live. I've learned it is ridiculous to commit to a set time every day, because life just happens. But I will try harder to give some advance notice. I'm also going to work on a way to be more interactive. With Nick behind the camera, I'm not responding to questions and comments as much as I'd like. We're working on that. 

If you missed some of the earlier ones, you can catch all but the first few at . Live ones stay live on Periscope for 24 hours.

As promised, here are notes for the ones that are archived. If you haven't watched any of them yet, I'd actually start with this one.

Watch: Marinara Sauce and Memories

Marinara recipe is in Dinner: The Playbook: A 30-Day plan for Mastering the Art of the Family Meal. (page 64)

My Aunt Lisette's recipe is:

Saute 7-10 cloves of fresh garlic in Extra Virgin Olive Oil until not quite golden. (It's important never to brown the garlic.) Add two cans of imported whole tomatoes or preferably fresh peeled tomatoes (a must in the summer when they are abundant). Just mash them slightly with a fork as this sauce should be chunky. Add seasoning: salt, pepper, and of course lots of fresh chopped basil. Simmer uncovered for only 25 minutes. 


Watch Little Ones at the Table

Baked Potato Bar Dinner: The Playbook: A 30-Day plan for Mastering the Art of the Family Meal. (page 92)

Minestrone Soup is here on the Dinner: A Love Story blog.


Watch Grace in the Kitchen

Chicken with Artichokes in Creamy Mustard Sauce Dinner: The Playbook: A 30-Day plan for Mastering the Art of the Family Meal. (pg 90)

Brussels Sprouts in Maple Mustard Sauce (essentially, pour melted butter, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard over trimmed Brussels sprouts and roast them in the oven. My kids seriously eat these like candy.)


Grace at the Stove

Kale, Sausage, and White Bean Stew from   Dinner: A Love Story (page 250)


Watch: Dinner Flexibility

Fish Nuggets and Kale here on the Dinner: A Love Story blog


Watch: Chatting up Dinner

Sweet and Spicy Tofu from Dinner: The Playbook: A 30-Day plan for Mastering the Art of the Family Meal. (pg 198)

Spicy Green Beans: Finely chop 4 cloves of garlic. Trim your fresh green beans (about a pound for 4 cloves garlic). Put some oil in your wok. Turn on the vent. Cook the green beans until some of them are blackened. Add a little sprinkle of chili pepper flakes and the garlic and just heat the garlic until it's soft. Sprinkle with salt to taste.