6 months ago

Table Talk

“I think David’s pruritus ani has flared”

This was a typical dinner conversation starter in our household. Bear in mind it’s the 90’s and I’m a kid trying to get a reaction out of my mom and dad. David is my brother. He didn’t appear to have an abnormally itchy buttock. I can’t speak for now… guess I’ll hear about this if he actually reads my blog.

We’d always throw out awkward questions and statements to get a rise out of my parents. It was fun. The response from my mom was, “JOANNE ELIZABETH!”, Dad always threw his hands in the air and said upon exhale, “Saints preserve me”! They were good sports. Here’s more of what I remember about sitting around the breakfast/dinner table growing up.

Breakfast time was for cereal five days a week, bacon and eggs on the weekends, and my dad’s steamroller jokes seven days a week. We read the newspaper in the mornings. The crossword was never left empty, and the Garfield comic was always saved for last. The mornings were predictable, and it was great.

Dinner time seemed livelier than breakfast. Maybe because we were all energized from the day? Now that I’m a parent, I know that it was actually only my brother and I who were energized, and my parents were totally bagged!

Both of my parents are fabulous cooks. It doesn’t matter what they make – it’s always cooked perfectly! My dad ventures a bit with Asian food – THANKFULLY! His wontons are the best I’ve ever had. When they go on vacation, I let myself into their house and pocket frozen wontons. Now that I think of it, they’ve never mentioned that food went missing… guess I’ll hear about this if they actually read my blog! Haha!

Something that has definitely carried over from my childhood, as well as my husband’s, is that we eat dinner together at the dinner table (unless there’s an important hockey game on). No phones. No TV. Always music. With three kids ages 7 and under, we’re not quite at the stage of calm dinners with colourful conversation. We’re at the stage of constant reminders to sit ‘normally’ in your chair – you don’t get a bedtime snack if you don’t eat your veggies – STOP bugging your sister – oh, and how was your day? Nonetheless, it’s important that we all eat together.

I love to cook. I have hits and misses, but I always go back and try it again. By my standards (and more importantly my life insurance blood tests’ standards) we eat healthy. Well… I speak for myself and the kids. My husband has a pallet for pepperettes and old cheese. The life insurance people are fine with him, but our rates show that they like me more.

I TRY to buy organic when possible. I don’t know when it was that I became freaked out to eat an apple that isn’t organic. I don’t judge you if you eat or feed my children non-organic apples. It’s quite honourable that you’re not such a stress case about it! I don’t follow any conventional diet. Logic tells me that if I buy local when possible, eat organic when available and cook food that didn’t come from a box – then we’re headed in the right direction. I’m in love with asparagus, seafood, spice, soft cheeses and anything made in my Le Creuset pot.

‘TASTE JOY’… this category is totally inspired by my parents. It’s thanks to them that I value the importance of a dinner party, a well-cooked meal, eating together at the table, and taking about David’s awkward medical conditions. As this blog evolves, I will share not only my favorite recipes, but also some inspiration on hosting gatherings, and stories about bonding over the nosh (with a little vino, of course). My hope is that ‘TASTE JOY’ will give you a hunger to cook, and to share your dinner table with family and friends, alike. You also never know if your child will one day decide to write a blog. Do the kid a favour, and give them something to write about! Cheers!


xo jo

P.S. “What did the grapes say when they got rolled over by the steamroller? Nothing – they just let out a little wine.”
-My dad (and the guy who actually wrote the steamroller jokes)

P.S.S. What are little sisters for?


Edited by Sarah Kistler


  1. Can’t read that one without laughing! I agree meal times are crazy but this is a good reminder to enjoy breakfast, lunch and supper as we are lucky enough to have a whole other month together to enjoy them! Great read. Looking forward to the next read!

    1. Thanks April! It was fun to write. I look forward to posting the next one soon. In the meantime, enjoy the remainder of your mat leave with those scrumptious little children😘
      Xo jo

  2. Loved it!!!
    Brings back fond memories of my childhood and then doing the same with my own 3! There was never a dull moment at the dinner table especially with 3 boys!! I learned a few things I could of lived without! LOL
    BUT Tons of laughs…
    Keep up the great writing Jo Jo

    1. Suz, I’ve laughed my head off having dinner with you at work! I can’t imagine being one of your kids. You’re a fun one, that’s for sure! You are a shining light of inappropriate dinner conversation and a joy to be around. Love ya! 😘
      Xo jo


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