Whenever my parents are cooking for a group, they will often plate everybody's meal and serve it like a restaurant does. Everyone gets a serving of each part of the meal, beautifully arranged on their plate. This does not mean you have to eat it, but it makes it easier on the server and it is a lovely presentation.
An important part of the success of our 6:30 family dinner is plating all the plates at the same time. This is not a new invention, but new to me.
I used to prepare the children's plates, let them start eating, and then I would fix my plate. By the time I sat down, they were done and asking for more food or wanting to get up.
Last night we had our typical 6:30 dinner - minus my husband who was working later. We set the table, and then I plated the food (including my plate). I snapped a picture realizing how vital plating is to getting everyone to sit down at the same time, especially when my husband is not present. I really enjoy the formality of it and it enables me to sit with everyone while we eat.
I can see how eating family style or buffet style might work when the kids are a bit older. And maybe we'll tackle dress code one day, too. Laurie could not resist wearing her bathing suit to dinner last night. Whatever!
I'm also thinking I need to do lunch this way in the summer when we are all home.
Do you plate everyone's food?
Family style? Buffet style?
I've never given much thought to this, but it can really make a big difference for the cook and server in the enjoyment of meals.
P.S. I loved every comment on Streamlining. Y'all gave me so many more ideas to think about. Thank you for reading and taking the time to share your wisdom!