Yesterday morning I decided to have a completely different approach to breakfast. I decided to have a breakfast date with my 7 year old daughter.
This decision stemmed from me asking myself the following questions…
1. “Why can’t the care and enjoyment of a meal always be like a date?”. We seem to put that extra effort and care in when we prepare for a date, or are out on a date, from the food prep, setting the table, our dress etc. I find that the meal and company feels special because of this care and effort.
2. “Why can’t we have that level of presence and care with every meal, with those in our family who we eat with everyday?”. I live with my seven-year-old daughter… so for me the question was “Why can’t every meal feel like a date (fun, playful, light and enjoyable)?”. Why can’t it have the care and dedication towards its preparation, the setting up of the table, eating of the meal and complete focus on each other during meaningful conversation without allowing any distractions to interfere?
Breakfast for us is usually a sit down time together where I usually leave early to wash the dishes. It’s a relatively healthy meal that I take time to prepare and it is a time for us to chat, so it ticks boxes… but there is still a chore element to it. Like it is one chore of the day… a moment that we sit and eat but when that is done, then we get on with all the other things we have to do for the day. Sometimes there is a bit of a task feeling, a need to complete, a doing focus / feeling or a bit of a push behind it.
So yesterday, I decided that I was going to have a breakfast date with my daughter and let her feel how special it was. I decided to make something that she said she liked – but I had not yet made it for her. That something was carrot soup. Whenever I have given her any type of soup, she eats them, some with complaints and others without. Some she enjoyed and others she tolerated and some she did not like at all – at least she always tried them – but she would often say “I like carrot soup!”. Never having made carrot soup, I embarked on making it especially for her, for our breakfast date – very simply, with carrots, garlic, tomatoes, water and a little salt. I accompanied the soup with some lovely stir-fried green vegies on a delicate side plate.
The food looked and smelled great – the bench where we ate felt amazing because of the care that I took. We enjoyed our meal and there was not one ounce of pressure or push or chore feeling to it but pure delight… and the actual meal itself got a two thumbs up from my daughter, which was great… an added bonus because I knew that the whole breakfast date experience was amazing because it felt amazing making it – or should I say I felt amazing making it!
By Johanna Smith, Perth
313 thoughts on “Carrot Soup for Two – a Breakfast Date with my 7 year old”
Isn’t it interesting how food plays a big role in our lives. It’s a moment to meet at the table and connect and catch up with everyone. But I love the angle you have bought this too. Everything matters when it comes to food, because it can always be felt.
I however loved the breakfast date, you can actually feel the love and the intimacy shared between the two, so needed in this mad world we live in. It makes our children feel special and loved too.
What a beautiful date…
To be with another and not be imposed upon is an amazingly freeing experience – it is something I am learning to appreciate but also learning to offer to others around me. Generally it is not that difficult to do, however there are times when I get caught up in an investment or wanting something and this can then come out as an imposition on another… and so I am learning constantly how to handle myself and relationships around me.
Every moment when we are in the present can be appreciated as a moment that is a gift – the time spent with another and ourselves, the appreciation of what is shared, the understanding of what is needed in that moment in time and nothing more nor nothing less.
That moment of being with someone is special, especially when we truly connect to ourselves first before we can connect with another. And in that connection, we can actually feel the appreciation of being with each other. It is worth more then the food we eat.
The simplicity of letting ourselves just be with each other is a gift worth its weight in gold.
Joy and loving dedication are great ingredients to cook and eat together
Bringing more playfulness into our lives is always a great choice.
Such a lovely read, this is what we are missing in life, the richness, joy and appreciation of each other, we seem to be travelling so fast through life and missing out on these precious moments.
Every meal can be made in the most Loving way, it can be nourishing to our Soul while nurturing our body, and the most delicious foods as you have shared Johanna are simple, which allow us the most amazing way of living.
The quality of energy we are in whilst cooking affects the meal we make, ‘I knew that the whole breakfast date experience was amazing because it felt amazing making it – or should I say I felt amazing making it!’
Both register true to me but what came first? Me thinketh that amazing-ness is a lived quality that is taken into every kitchen, house and any-or-every-where!
We don’t like chores and tasks, but I think it’s one of the secrets of human life that being committed and giving our all is what makes us enjoy ourselves most in whatever activity we are engaged in.
cute ✨ yep why not make every moment either with ourselves or with others like we would on a date?
Date night each and every night – a celebration of ourselves and the other.
That time and effort to make an occasion special and without it feeling like a must do chore does feel different. And definitely, why not make it an everyday thing rather than the drag of chores and must do’s being the everyday standard?
It is a joy to move in a way that is honouring of ourselves and when we take that care to prepare for something we naturally move in a more honouring way.
Is part of what we enjoy on a so-called special occasion like a date the extra care and time we take, the space we give ourselves to fully prepare, be with ourselves and to enjoy that preparation? What if we saw life like this- a series of moments to deepen and bring more awareness and more love to, so that it becomes impossible to see the next thing as another chore, another thing that has to be done?
It is incredible to feel the power we have access to live with when we surrender to love, the love we are within, and how beholding this love is for not only ourselves but for all.
My children have children of their own now, so I get the absolute pleasure of dining with some of my grandchildren every now and then, on their own. We always take great care to set the table and to take our time to eat and enjoy, often having a most wonderful life-expanding conversation, not just for them but for me too. These are definitely precious moments in time to be treasured.
I feel that every moment with my husband is a special date and every time I see him I am freshly wowed – mind you we have only been married for 25 years so we are still on our honeymoon.
Nicola, you had me smiling inside and out with your gorgeous comment. It sure sounds like you’re enjoying your ‘honeymoon’ so much that it is going to be never ending. Now this to me, is a true love story. Looking forward to the book!
There are so many books, I too am looking forward to them!!!
The other endless thing is how much love and expansion is available. What happened was that as our love grew and deepened with ourselves and each other, it started to include more people and spread so now I have a gorgeous wife (that is our joke) as well as my husband and more and more very special people in my life and of course the fact that everyone is special. My husband is the only one I am physically intimate with so it is not in that way, but the energetic quality of love and connection is for all.
A great demonstration of what care, focus and presence can bring to any occasion and every situation. The mundane is mundane no more and life becomes rich, joyful and ever renewed.
Agreed and beautifully said – mundane does not exist when love is present in which there can never be too much joy lived.
Opening up to the inner heart, allows for questions, answers, situations that can bring to our life a totally different normality; one where you can let yourself swim in beauty.
So gorgeous to share – and it does highlight how we don’t pay enough love and attention to things. Reading this shows how we can work together to deepen each moment.
To deepen each moment rather than sink into the morass of sameness that life would otherwise be – a mere existence.
There is no limit to the depth on offer in each moment.
It takes a meal to a whole other level when we make it about people and not just about food and great taste.
And offers the opportunity to make everything a celebration of who we are which in turn then supports us to feel more strongly the inner connection and bring even more to the relationships that we are in.
Reading this I realise that, especially the meals I have been having on my own, have not felt very special. Time to start refreshing my relationship with myself around meal time.
The value of time where we are present with others cannot be overestimated.
‘We are what we eat’ according to a popular adage, but I would say it is far more accurate to say that ‘we eat what we are’ as in – the quality of energy in which we prepare the meal will be the quality of energy we ingest as we eat it.
“Why can’t every meal feel like a date (fun, playful, light and enjoyable)?” Love this question, as it so often happens that meal times become chores, all the preparation beforehand and the clearing up afterwards. But as we have to eat, might as well make the whole experience pleasurable for everyone. And maybe the food tastes nicer too!
Reading this blog made me realise just how much I am thinking ahead to the next thing when I am eating a meal, instead of just feeling and being there with the people I am eating with, even if it is just myself. What a great opportunity to check in with our bodies and learn something about ourselves.
I can relate Michael, as I have found myself while eating dinner, thinking about what I still have to do after dinner and before going to bed and then finding myself eating a tad too quickly in order to get finished. I hate to do that now, and have much more focus on how I am eating and how my food tastes. And mostly, my food tastes delicious.
This is a little trick of the human spirit that lives within us all – to not allow the mind to be in tune with what the body is doing and thus by always thinking of the next thing or even by ruminating on a past occurrence, it maintains control of the human body so our true self – our Soul, cannot enter.
Amazing Johanna, every meal can be of a quality that is very caring and loving. Actually I would say it should be because what are we otherwise putting in our mouths and in what quality?
Yes and you also have to wonder what comes out of our mouths at some meals, so the conversation is important too.
It is definitely noticeable that the quality of a meal is a reflection of the quality in which it is prepared.
Meals go to a whole new level when you make them about people and not just about the food.
Why do we reserve our love for special events when we can enjoy every moment? It’s like we are controlled by this idea that there just isn’t time – but there is always space for joy – that’s all there is.
‘Why do we reserve our love for special events when we can enjoy every moment?’ Great question, which asks us to be present in our bodies throughout our day to day activities, and when we are, there is always a flow, and in the flow the joy can be felt.
What a very precious moment in time for both of you, a moment which I am sure your daughter will not forget in a hurry. Taking the time to stop and be totally present with our children is a gift that ought not to be considered special, but simply very ordinary, an everyday event.
We can fall into habits with family where we do not take the care we could or be as present as we could. But exactly why aren’t we? Life is one, and separating it does not make sense.
Settling for sameness and repetition is comfortable but can never replicate the fullness we feel from going deeper with Love. As you show Johanna it’s just a simple choice away.
De-light for break-fast. Not a bad choice!
What you bring beautifully to the fore here is that life is not about getting things done, whatever they might be, but about the relationships we have with ourselves and others.
Meal times are a coming together of the family and an opportunity to reflect on the day. I love sharing meal times especially in the evenings as it feels like a completion to the day, but I like your idea of making breakfast equally as enjoyable and what a wonderful way to begin the day.
Yes indeed Johanna, every meal can be made into a date, it is just a matter of commitment, giving my self in full with my love and care in every action I bring to such a meal. Candles are therefore lid every meal:-)
Beautiful to read you had such a close moment together.
Also I find carrots are a very sweet vegetable and most children love to go for the sweetness as a way to give themselves the sweetness have forget to give to themselves. As parents we have the biggest present to give to our children; to show them how we love ourselves.
When we prepare whatever we are to do with love it lays the foundations for it to be both a nurturing and joyful experience.
It is the quality in which we do things that makes the world of difference. And the quality in which we do something on one moment, effects the next moment and so on and so on. And the question that we need to ask ourselves is in which quality are we in for our moments and what effect are they having on our next?
I love your questions and they are inspiring me to look into the inconsistency in the level of care I put into – e.g. making some things more important/special than others, somewhat allowing myself to switch off at times as if it does not deserve my full attention, and how I might express myself or behave differently depending on who with. Rather unpleasant actually.
When the intent is with joy and harmony then the outcome will be the same, thank you for sharing.
This is a very sweet blog Johanna, reminding us that there is joy to be found in all aspects of life if we are prepared to fully commit ourselves to whatever we are doing whether it be preparing a space for a meal, preparing the meal itself or going for a walk; or, if we choose otherwise, we can make everything a chore.
Your blog is an invitation for everyone to re-claim the power of having a meal together – Thank you!
Two great questions to ask, why don’t we apply the same quality into everything we do, not just our meals? There is much to ponder on, reflect on and ultimately let go of, to allow ourselves to do just this. It is so worth it though, there is way less tension in our bodies when we approach life with a quality and care, as our bodies get to live how they want to live, with tenderness, grace and in a harmonious flow.
Love this Johanna – such a sweetness in what you share. My daughters are all grown up now, but occasionally we have dinner dates where we cook and set up the table with flowers and candles. This comes with a different feel to our usual cooking, setting the table and then all sitting and chatting about our days and the situations we have read. When we dress the table and have a dinner date, the quality is more intimate.
This is great Johanna – and you’re highlighting one of the key things we need to look at about what makes life mundane and a bit of a humbug… making things a chore. It is possible to have every meal that we make special, a celebration of us coming together. And this can then extend to everything else we do in the day – to putting the bins out, hanging out the laundry, getting ready for work, etc etc etc. When we make things a chore, we do this because we have left ourselves out of it – and hence, we get drained. But when we do things with us in them, there is a joy and spunk to whatever it is we do – because it’s not what we are doing that matters, but that we are feeling us, our essence, in whatever it is we do. And that… is amazing.
Interestingly enough we indeed pay much attention to our ‘date’ when it is an planned one, but what if we put the same amount of detail to meeting everyone; on the street, at work or in the lobby.. How would our world look? How would we be? And how much more togetherness will this bring to our table? To our society, our families, our neighborhood, our communities, our country — our world? How big is your effect that you have on people? How much could we use this of true good? Ponder on this truly and this will grow us more than we can think of.
Every moment is our choice, life is our own making, we choose how we want it to be, so absolutely, why not enjoy every moment like it is a date?
Thank you Johanna for this beautiful reminder that every moment we have can be lived with intimacy, cuteness and much appreciation. Why wait for an evening you declare to be special when you can live this way every day? It’s easy to get caught into the humdrum averageness of what we call life, but it’s just not true, not right. If we change our movements the depth will be there for us to adore, court and cherish ourselves.
Really lovely to set the table and make a playful date with your daughter, I have also found that even when we eat alone, it is important to lay the table and lovingly prepare a meal, as we allow ourselves that deeper love, that we deserve all of the time.
Lovely Johanna , is it not amazing how simple things can be when one supplies the missing elements.
” was amazing because it felt amazing making it – or should I say I felt amazing making it! “
It’s not what we do, it’s the way that we do it that makes the difference.
What a delightful moment in time and a very precious one indeed. It certainly is a reminder that when we eat we have the opportunity to nourish our body, so taking the time to lovingly prepare the food, and allow our self the space to eat in a honouring way is offering due respect to the wonderful vehicle that supports us day in day out. Tonight I am sharing a meal with one of my grandchildren so I will definitely be taking the message from your beautiful sharing with me to the table.
“I felt amazing making it!” This is the essential ingredient in any recipe.
What great question Johanna. Why do we reserve bringing our love, our all, to only ‘special’ occasions or moments? When in fact every day, every moment that we are alive is a special occasion, as we have the opportunity to be the love we are and bring this quality to every part of our living day.
When we prepare our meals with love, it tastes and feels amazing when we eat it. But when we take extra care in setting the table and clearing it, the amazing feeling goes to another level. the space we prepare for ourselves is equally as important as the meal itself.
I considered similar questions about care with my morning shower. I can bring that level of attention and care into my everyday but it feels like all the ‘have to-do’s’ distract me from this. Rather than focusing on the why is the distraction so attractive when care feels amazing I feel to keep coming back and appreciating these moments of presence and care.
A classic example of making a meal about Love and connection not just about the food. It actually adds to the quality of the meal and makes it evolutionary and meaningful. These are by far the best meals.
The level of quality we bring to any one thing we do determines the level of quality we will feel in it.
Beautiful. To make every moment special. We are often so focussed on the moments that we deem special in our life that we miss out on the beauty every (other) moment holds.
The quality of energy we feel in our bodies when we move about our days brings a great energy to all facets of our lives and shows just how much fun and joy we can have anytime and with anyone when we feel totally at ease and connected to our bodies.
It is so true Kelly – it is our connection to our love that will lighten up any day, anywhere, any time.
It’s great to put a care and detail to anything let alone a breakfast date or similar with one of your children. Like the article is saying we get caught up busy in life and walk past the important things. Taking time to truly connect with everything you do makes the end result a ‘no brainer’ as it will be the end result of that same quality. Again as the article presents, the intention, the way it’s made and in fact the quality of every step leading in to wherever you are going already sets the foundation and momentum of what’s to come. We place so much focus on the end at times that we tend to not see or celebrate the walk there. Every part is important as the end is only the final part of a whole journey.
Why can’t every meal feel like a date (fun, playful, light and enjoyable)?” Great question, and what a joy that sounds to bring to every meal whether we sit with someone or whether we are dining alone.