There are many moments of my life that I remember fondly. Many of them are actually from around a table at which my family sat with me. Sometimes it was our family table at home, other times it was a random table at a restaurant. Sometimes it wasn't even at a table, just us standing around at some outdoor event or we were eating on the go in my dad's Suburban off to who knows where. Much like fusion cuisine, the best memories are when people come together to enjoy a meal and each other's company.
Some of my memories aren't so rosy, perhaps in hindsight they're humorous, but at the time, there were certainly some strong emotions playing out. That's ok, though. Looking back I realize that I was still at a table with the people that I love, and that they loved me in return.
Fusion cuisine has some parallels to my fond mealtime memories and it has even contributed to those memories. Fusion cuisine works because it takes the best of things and brings it together as a whole. Family should be like that too. I feel that in this day and age, there are far too many people that don't have that opportunity to sit down as a family. It has been studied scientifically and the results suggest that children that sit down to eat with their parents are better adjusted and are generally healthier with better eating habits.
It's sad to think that the norm is rapidly reaching a point where it is not just difficult to sit down as a family, but in some cases impossible. The fact is that the economy and our culture seems to be okay with multi income families, and the kids only get to see one parent at a time on most days. That, or the family is unfortunately a broken one. It would seem that I am becoming a rather rare person because I have grown up entirely with my parents staying together. Sure, once I grew up and was out of the house, it came to light that there were tough times when my folks almost had had enough. Luckily for my sister and I, they managed to work through their differences without us kids being the wiser. I would like to think that in at least some small way, the fact that we always stayed together as a family, dealing with obstacles and difficulties together, eating dinner together on a nightly basis, and bringing the best of ourselves together, it allowed my family to overcome the difficult times regardless of the fact that we didn't always have all the information.
I would like to think that now that I have a family of my own, that I will do everything in my power to replicate that environment for my own children...healthier for them as they grow up in this increasingly complex world and healthier for my wife and I because our hearts wouldn't survive a broken family.
Tim Hiller is a freelance writer that believes that fusion cuisine or not, family should eat together. http://www.osorioslatinfusion.com