In this 31 days series I’m looking at ways that I can make way for family life; choices that can simplify my lifestyle, making way for to me to live life with my kids! All posts can be found here.
Take it Outdoors
I don’t know what it is about eating outdoors but it always seems to relax people. I think every country has their own take on a BBQ – the very nature of cooking outside and eating outside seems to invite friends, family and good times.
We have two areas in our yard that invites us to relax, eat slowly and enjoy the company.
- A fire-pit
- An outdoor table
The fire-pit is simply a space on our backyard lawn where we can build a camp fire. Though there are fancy designer fire-pits – we’ve gone for the bush feel – simply a circle of bricks defining the fire area. My goal with creating such an outdoor space was that we would every so often take a simple meal outdoors, turn off the house lights and enjoy being outdoors together. Because we live on a farm, away from town lights we generally get an amazing view of the stars as well. I also try and keep a supply of marshmellows in the pantry so we can have toasted marshmellows for dessert.
Our outdoor table sits on our veranda and we have made it a family tradition to eat Sunday morning breakfast there. Peter cooks bacon, tomato, mushrooms and onion on the BBQ and I do eggs, coffee and toast inside. Now that the kids are all older they help – and often relieve me of any task so I can have a lazy Sunday morning, which is an extra blessing. Sunday morning breakfasts have become a special time for us as we catch up with each other, talk about meaningful things though it can also be a time of family silliness. Great family time.
More recently we’ve started to occasionally eat our regular evening meals out at this table as well. I don’t know why we haven’t done it more often. It takes no more effort to set the outdoor table than it does to set the inside table. We tend to be not so aware of call of duty, the demands of the phone, or the beckoning of the to-do list when we are outside.
We will make these moments happen if we first of all create the outdoor living space. Once again this doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive – just use what you have on hand, and be realistic! We live in a climate that gets very muggy and lots of mozzies in the summer, we eat outdoors very rarely during those months – but the other months of the year are wonderful and we should make the most of them.
I wonder if you ever take your meals outside?
Can I challenge you to have one meal during the coming week outdoors?
One of the challenges I have set myself for the next 12 months is to learn how to cook in a camp oven. I find this very inspiring – but I need a lot of practice!