In a very conscious and deliberate effort to bring more excitement to our weekly meals, I have been attempting to make "the perfect lasagna" for the last few months. I will take my family's feedback like "not enough sauce, too much cheese, etc." and apply it to the next lasagna I make and I have been averaging one lasagna every one or two weeks.
The other day, everyone loved the lasagna I made. No one had any complaints, only praise. Everyone said it was "perfect." As I sat there hearing their feedback, the realization dawned on me that I had finally succeeded and made the perfect lasagna according to my family. But, I also realized that that day, I had used what was left in two different brands of sauce jars and I was not at all sure how much of either sauce was actually in the jars. I had even used a portion of plain tomato sauce to fill out the dish and make up for what was still lacking in the jars. So I realized there was little to no way I would ever be able to actually recreate that particular lasagna in the same exact details and proportions.
I laughed ruefully and my entire family laughed when I explained the situation to them. It just figures. Since that day, I've made lasagna again, but it wasn't as good and it probably never will be again. But when I combine cheeses, pasta, sauce, and meat in layers, it's actually hard to go very wrong, and my family is always happy about any lasagna.
The search for "the perfect lasagna" is just one way to honor dinnertime more than I had before. Our daily meals have to happen. One way or another, my family will eat. I have been making dinner for years and years, and honestly, I had stopped caring a great deal about our meals for a while. And since I stopped caring, quite naturally, meals had simply become less special. Dinner was something I endured from the start of cook time to the end of clean-up, so dinner started to become something my whole family simply endured, too. And I started noticing this and it started bothering me.
I decided to put more of myself into the task of feeding them again, since dinnertime wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. And by spending a little more time and effort and even money on our evening meals, I've changed everyone's experience, especially my own. By cooking better meals, I have been bringing more honor, attention, excitement, and richness to our dinner table each night, everyone else has, too. It's a basic principle that I am simply rediscovering in this particular way. "Sew sparingly. Reap sparingly." If I care more about dinners, my family tends to care more, too.