Every Tuesday since 2008, I host a dinner for my three of my siblings, my niece, a friend, and my 90 year old neighbor Nicholas. We call this "TND" for "Tuesday Night Dinner". Sometimes we have other guests as well. I try to organize my business travel so that I'm local and free for TND each week. Nicholas once told me this dinner is the highlight of his week, so how could I possibly skip it?
I leave work every Tuesday at 4pm, go to Whole Foods, decide what to buy, get home by 5:30pm. We usually have fresh fruit as appetizers while I'm cooking, which starts about 6pm.
We try to never talk about politics or other evil things.
We have a rule that the first person to touch their cellphone during dinner then has to do the dishes.
In warm weather, we eat outside, else we eat at the kitchen table (which Nicholas recently fixed) for when there are up to seven of us, else at the dining room table when there are 8-14 of us.
Sometimes we enforce the "one person talking" rule. We focus on listening to each other rather than thinking what we're going to say next, and we have pauses between speakers.
Our menu is pretty simple, usually rotating between quesadillas, pizza, burgers, eggs and waffles, BLTs, swordfish, kabobs, etc. We always have at least one vegetable. We also celebrate birthdays with a cake.
We have a leather bound notebook which we often write in after dinner, listing who was present, what we ate, and what we talked about.