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Dinner Al Fresco

view from the picnic table, elizabeth gamble gardens, palo alto

view from the picnic table, elizabeth gamble gardens, palo alto

We’re in the midst of a surprise heat wave here in Northern California, boasting 80+ degree days for the last few weeks.  Within a matter of days, I packed up my tall boots and busted out my sandals, started sleeping with the windows open at night, wanted to bike everywhere, and began eating dinner outside again.

There’s something magical about eating outside.  Similar to the way candlelight helps us savor and honor our food, eating with our feet in the grass helps us slow down.  Food seems to taste better, the evening light makes people look extra beautiful, and the stress of the day washes away more quickly.  We’re less likely to use our phones.  We’re more playful.  We’re nicer to each other.  We feel healthier.  Dinners last longer than five minutes.  And the grown-ups don’t need to get on our hands and knees to scrape mashed veggies off the floor when we’re finished eating (BONUS)!

Tonight before we even started cooking, the kids said “can we please eat outside tonight…can we please eat outside every single night from now until forever?”  They put words to what I was feeling.  In this case, we’re all on the same page.  The kids and the grown-ups want the very same, simple, universal pleasure: dinner al fresco.

What’s your favorite meal to make when you’re eating outside?  And if you can’t eat outside at your home, where do you love to go? (The photo above is one of my favorite spots to eat takeout on a picnic bench while literally, smelling the roses.)

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. ebriceno #

    Beautiful picture!

    May 3, 2013
  2. I can’t wait to get back in our house (3 more months!) so we’ll have our little yard back. I love dining outside — just the other day, we got an early dinner and took it to the park, where I have to say, not having to worry about picking up scraps when you have a 1yo is a huge plus!! (And as for the heat wave — OH BOY. We’ve got fans on, windows open, and we all walk around in our underwear/diaper).

    May 6, 2013

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