Are family meals less common today? Will that affect the recipe niche site in the future?
Thanks Eric. I am wondering if I can get the hang of preparing a meal instead of a can or frozen. The challenge I always have is using the ingredients a different way to be appetizing the next day. Ingredients seem hard to use as a single person.
I can think of two ways it affects the recipe site:
* emphasis on convenient and quick family meals so you can create a family meal when in a hurry, so you can have one at all
* more demand for healthy/hearty recipes for one or two instead of 4-6
Families are a lot smaller now than they were in previous generations and people lead much busier lives, leaving less time to eat; so fast foods and grabbing a snack before going out isn’t uncommon.
However, where people do have the time (like ourselves) then family meals is still a focal point of the day; albeit on our laps in front of the telly rather than at the dining table like it used to be in my grandparents day.
In my case, I’ve taken early retirement so I’m the househusband while my wife still goes out to work, and therefore I prepare all the meals for the family. It’s what I call part of the family ‘quality time’, when we can all be together and enjoy each other’s company in the evening in front of the TV.
To keep the evening meals interesting, I try to very them, and for inspiration I often watch cookery programmes on the TV, read old recipe books (including war time rationing recipes), swap recipes with friends, and browse sites like the recipe niche site on HubPages.
I know I’m not alone, most of our friends (here in the UK) take the time and trouble (and pride) to prepare ‘family meals’ to eat on their laps while watching the Telly together. And although we don’t eat at the dining table unless it’s a special occasion or we have guests the type of meal I serve up is no different to what we would eat if we were all formally seated around the dining table.
Therefore, I think the popularity of traditional meals on the recipe niche site is secured for some time to come yet.
Thanks. Is that a trend do you think sitting watching the TV instead of the family table? I wonder if there is opportunity for special shows with a matching special meal as a theme for recipes? I dun'no . . .
In front of the Telly is how most our friends eat, so I guess it’s quite common. If our son’s out then sometimes my wife and I will enjoy an episode of River Cottage with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, celebrity chef while enjoying our evening meal.
I don't think people who are interested in looking up recipes are necessarily interested in the day-to-day, family-meal, type of thing a good part of the time. I think they may be more likely to be looking for special-meal/occasion type of stuff and/or be new enough at preparing meals (maybe newlyweds) who don't have experience cooking dinners. Or they may want something on one "special" item, like, for example, Marsala sauce, if it's something they've never made or paid attention to.
I don't have reason to doubt that there may be fewer family meals (everyone at a table) today; but anyone who knows anything about a family and/or a meal knows that it isn't most often necessary to look up recipes on the Internet in order to come up with a "family meal".
My children are grown and moved out now, but when they were little there was no need for me to do what my mother did, which was spend most of the afternoon peeling and cooking vegetables and whatever else she was cooking for dinner. We were young in the fifties and sixties. My children were young in the eighties/nineties. I kept nothing but nutritious food/snacks/beverages available to them in the house. As a RULE (but with occasional exception) if I brought them out to eat it was at a place where they could get a nutritious, decent, meal (even if "put together" with side dishes choice of beverage).
Their father got home from work late, so the children and I would often eat a "mini-dinner" together, and it was often out (a "family meal" in its own way). So, by the time their father was/got home I'd know the children had already had "some version of dinner". So, with the late "family dinner" (at the dining room table) the children were there to join in, and if they were too full or too antsy-and-young to want to sit for too long it didn't matter much. Anyone over two generally sat there with us for a reasonable time.
I think a dining room table is important no matter how grown a family is. Time around it together doesn't always mean looking up special or new recipes (or even mean special occasions).
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