Nowadays, it seems to be uncommon to sit down and have a family dinner. The quick, always on-the-move lifestyle is something we’ve all been accustomed to. In our household, we all have different schedules. There are days we don’t talk at all. Because of this, we made it a point to have sit-down family dinners at least once a week. These dinners help us to talk, get away from our phones, fellowship and just enjoy each other’s company.
Sometimes we eat out, sometimes we cook at home, but one of our favorite types of family dinners is a good old kamayan style meal. “Kamay” in tagalog means hands, and kamayan is a communal way of eating, with your hands. It is also referred to sometimes as “boodle fight” where its origin came from a military style of eating with fellow soldiers, symbolizing camaraderie.
Kamayan food is typically served on a bed of banana leaves. The menu varies but typically you see an array of seafood, meat, and salted eggs. Our most recent kamayan meal consisted of salmon, lechon kawaii (deep fried pork belly), home made longonisa (sweet filipino breakfast sausage), fried calamari, tiger prawns, and crab. I just drooled typing all that. It was delicious. Following the meal, we all just sat there and continued talking, shared about our week, and my dad told some throwback stories which seems to be a common theme when we eat together. Good food, good conversation. My heart is always happy after a good meal with family. Food, to me, has always been associated with family. Whenever we have family gatherings, one of the focal points are the food. Food just brings people together. Take the time to set a day out of the week to sit down and eat with your family. I know life can get busy, but nothing beats quality time with family.