sobremesa noun : the time spent around the table after lunch or dinner, talking to the people you shared the meal with; time to digest and savour both food and friendship.
(Spanish noun, literally ‘over the table’)
My wife is often horrified at the speed by which I inhale dinner. We have largely topped sharing food due to this discourteous tendency of mine, and have often had conversations about whether I was raised amongst a pack of rabid wolves, raw meat thrown out the window for the taking. While an embarrassing majority of the male population likely shares my affinity for the quick consumption of copious amounts of food, the longer I share a table with my wife and laughter, the slower I desire to eat. Perhaps this is due in part to learning how to cook and enjoy food as it was intended (I finally prefer steak medium rare, thanks to my father-in-law!), but I’m realising that a greater longing stems from wanting to linger around a common space, creating sacred moments for my family to connect. Currently, this “table” is usually formed in the kitchen, an informal gathering where our 15 month-old daughter can make a mess, and my wife and I can attempt to eat on footstools next to her while the food is still hot. Our Scottish terrier Wally hovers below, the vacuum of the Kamalski family. It isn’t ideal, nor lasts very long, but there’s something sacred and inviting about this growing routine among us. Time and space to connect, however informal or “out of place” – this is the meaning of the table in a family’s home.