In my family, my dad was the only one who cooked every meal. My brother wasn't interested, my mom was terrible, and I was too young to help.
Bartels Family Dinner
He enjoyed it - except we all had our own food preferences, and none of us would budge. There were very few times we all ate the same food, even though we ate dinner together most nights. Most of our dinner plans started simple: a protein, a vegetable, and a grain - but with our requests, that could end up being six or seven different components to one dinner.
Don't forget to cook my meat well done, honey! No pink in the middle!
I only eat burgers, chicken, and plain white rice, Dad! No sauce on anything!
DAAAAD! You have to use separate pots and utensils for my vegetarian food!
Around 8 pm, we all sat down together at the dinner table, with our individual meals. The cooking was separate, but we ate the whole meal together.
When we started eating, our separate, individual meals combined and shared while we took equal turns talking about our days. We served ourselves from the pots and pans in the kitchen and sat down together in our usual seats.
Mom, do you want some of my falafel?
Gary, do you want to split this salad?
We complained about the things that made us individual - but that's what brought us together.