I hope you enjoy Starting from Scratch, my second book, published each week online, one chapter at a time. Before the book’s final publication, I hope to sprinkle readers’ thoughts, opinions and advice throughout. After all, you each have helpful systems and solutions in the kitchen worth sharing. By making a contribution, your comments will be printed, crediting you and/or your blog, and you’ll get free copies of the book. In addition, for each section, I’m consulting an expert – for this excerpt, it’s Aimée Wimbush-Bourque, writer and editor for Simple Bites.

glasses making a toast

Amy recommends prayer as a means of giving thanks prior to eating a meal, one of many ways to create a healthy food culture at home. Another famous tradition, especially at parties or when alcohol is involved, is to make a toast. There are basic rules of etiquette for making toasts and many do’s and don’ts for getting it right at weddings.

One year on vacation, our family revised the toasting tradition to include kids, milk, juice, Shirley Temples and wine. Since a toast is a great way to start a meal, share appreciation and involve others, we wanted to include our little guy in the fun. But with a twist….

The twist is making the toast one word -or possibly two if you can’t make summarize a multitude of sentiments into only one. The word has to reflect something in your day that made a big impression, influenced your mindset or affected your mood. The hope is that the one word can be uplifting. After all, less is often more.  Because you really have to think hard to come up with one meaningful sound bite, it can be thought-provoking, inspiring and or downright humorous.

For our very first toast, Luke proudly exclaimed the word “butter” with deep passion and sincerity! We nearly fell out of our chairs laughing. We knew he liked the creamy ingredient he likes to slather on bread, but we didn’t realize his affection ran that deeply. Now we know he’s the son of a Southerner, even if he was born in the Northwest.

Recently on a trip to visit friends and family in North Carolina, he thoughtfully had two different evening toasts. The first was “family” and the second was “love.” Don’t children have a wonderful way of reminding us of what life is all about?

Whether it’s a toast or prayer or other tradition that is unique to your family, make sure you celebrate your meal at home.


About Aimée Wimbush-Bourque

Aimée Wimbush-Bourque is the editor and writer for SimpleBites.net, a family-oriented community dedicated to all things food and drink. She believes in the importance of bringing the whole family together around the table on a daily basis, sharing her experiences of cooking for a close-knit family of four.

After attending culinary school, Aimée spent nearly 10 years in the professional cooking industry in Quebec. She then fell in love with motherhood and wanted to stay at home with her babies, trading her tongs and chef whites for cloth diapers and a laptop, thus marrying her two passions as a food/mommy blogger.

About the author

Melinda is a marketer, researcher and writer. She also has a passion for healthy living, every day.

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