Yes you may. Push in your chair and step away from the table.
It’s not the end of the meal though. It’s just the beginning….
The dining room isn’t the only place where a great meal can be served. The focus of mealtime, especially dinner, is more about the food and friends anyway. So why restrict yourself to a specific room? Like a good glass of wine, the right venue can enhance the experience. A location that I feel is under-utilized and under-appreciated is the great outdoors.
With fall rolling in at full force and winter on its coat tails, I’m sure it’s difficult for those of you in inclement weather locations to fathom whipping up a bite to eat and gathering out on the lawn. This whole season, though, is geared toward eating outside with friends. What is better through October and November than tailgates by a blazing grill, with a bowl of chili or sizzling bratwurst, preparing for your favorite team to kick off? Not much my friends. The tailgate is essentially a carryover from the beloved barbecues of Summer and helps us stave off the fact that colder months are on their way.
Let’s not stop at tailgates though, as I’ve digressed into the joyous fog of football season.
There is a certain connection made with the world around you when taking your plate out under the sky. Being nearer the source of your food allows for a distinct validity that what’s been served is quality. The natural air seems to just make things taste better. A tiny chill in the air never feels as brisk when a great, hot meal is available.
We recently embraced the notion and shared a shellfish dinner with friends at the Jolly Oyster. I assembled ingredients, bagged the utensils and we headed down to the park. Cooking over the open flame with the ocean breeze dancing across the hot coals added to ambiance. I didn’t take a vote, but I bet everyone would have agreed that the clams and oysters embodied a freshness that may not have been perceived if eaten inside.
So if you haven’t lately, my recommendation is to put together a simple menu, snag some disposable plates and utensils and dine amongst the scenery. Hurry though, or you’ll have to wait until Spring. Unless you really want to go crazy and hold a tailgate party complete with parkas and ear muffs. (If so, count me in as long as there’s hot cocoa.)