Steaks and Streams

What’s the difference between a steak dinner and just eating steak? I’ve come to the conclusion that even adding a salad, baked potato, and broccoli doesn’t turn eating steak for dinner into a steak dinner.

Last Saturday I grilled a nice sirloin on our new gas grill while Marilyn was fixing all the sides. When everything was ready, I stood at the counter and cut the steak into bite sized pieces. That alone would have shocked my rich Aunt Nellie from Chicago.

She’s the aunt who always brought a leg of lamb to Christmas at Grandma’s, and taught me you had to eat lamb with mint jelly; something that was very hard to find in rural Kansas when a farmer from the church gave us some fresh lamb from his flock. She also made it very clear that you cut your meat one piece at time, put down your knife, and then eat it.

She would have been absolutely shocked at what Marilyn and I then did with the plate of food. We carried it into the living room, sat in our easy chairs, and watched TV while devouring our meal.

When the kids were home we turned off the TV, sat around the table, and had dinner together. It was an important time of sharing what was going on, practicing good manners, and just enjoying each others company. Now, for the most part, we just eat.

Sadly, it’s not just empty nesters who do this. I recently read that the typical family now manages six or seven simultaneous streams of information during the dinner hour. I really doubt family members are using those electronic devices to stimulate conversation. At least Marilyn and I try to outguess the contestants on Wheel of Fortune.

When we do have the family over for a special occasion, we pack around the table as best we can, and actually have dinner together. And the grandkids generally make it clear they’d rather be around our table eating pot roast, than in a restaurant eating steak.

Next time I grill a steak I think I’m going to dust off the china and crystal, and Marilyn and I are going to actually have a steak dinner.

God Bless, Rick

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