I am reminded of a family dinner, recently, as we went out of town for several days to the high desert, a few hours from our home. In the car I asked the kids if they wanted spaghetti or pot pie for dinner, having ingredients for both ready to make quickly.

Turkey Potpie it was. A family favorite, especially when I add a can of Bush’s Red Kidney Beans, not only stretching the meal – making more – but they’re buttery, filling, a nice consistency, and they taste good (says my family who answered my question when I asked them about the beans in this dish).

Now the meal got better as we sat around the table for 2 hours talking. It just tasted better, being together and sharing funny stories and laughing a lot.

I appreciate how my family takes to heart the hard work I put into a meal. I don’t remember expressing thankfulness to my parents as a teenager, although I know inside I was very grateful for my mom’s cooking and my dad providing for our family.

My husband and I make an effort to have family time around the table. It doesn’t happen every night, it’s not always perfect, many times we grab our plates and head to our back patio, or we’ve even been known to take all of our plates upstairs and watch a soccer game.

The focus is being together. Talking together. Giving thanks together.

Yes, food brings us to the table. And it’s the conversation that makes us stick around for a while …

How many meals a week do you eat together as a family?

It’s our tradition to take pix of the kids when we get away. Here’s one of my favorites from last weekend. Abby always ends up in the middle, it seems.

Then.

And now.

(I am in a partnership with Bush’s Beans, but they did not pay me to write this post today. My easy Potpie recipe is in my new book, and you’ll love the Parmesan White Sauce! Hey, did you know there’s a whole chapter on Conversation in my new book? )

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