“A happy family is but an earlier heaven” ~George Bernard Shaw.
You’d never guess how happy playing board games makes our family if you overheard the accidental, inadvertent, and sometimes quite intentional swear words that escape our mouths as we are engrossed in a very competitive, very intense game of just about anything – Spades, 7 Wonders, Dominion, Splendor, Cards Against Humanity (we do have an age cut off for that one!)… you name it, we play it! It makes for a happy family. Board game playing is a long-standing family tradition. We play when the kids are on school break, home for the weekend, or just in the middle of a regular old Sunday. We take the games camping. Cart them to the cabin. And we even bring them on cruises (yes, we’ve gotten stopped several times going through security because they have no idea what those ridiculously heavy Spendor chips are.) We have family tournaments, and pass around trophies. Pretty much every family member participates, and we all love it! Even when we can’t all be together, we still share in the experience – I can’t tell you how many Instagram photos or SnapChats of a table full of board game tokens and cards that I’ve gotten from my kids who no longer live at home, but continue with the tradition. (Yes, you can find me on Instagram, Twitter, and SnapChat (Username TheSpicyApron) if you really want to see some behind the scenes stuff…)
It goes without saying that there are times these games get the best of us. Some of us lose our cool. Some of us spend hours researching the latest game-winning strategy. Some get so entrenched that we forget to take bathroom breaks. And sometimes I become so engaged in a game that time slips away and I suddenly realize it’s 6:00 and dinner is but an afterthought. I have no plan. I have nothing defrosted. I don’t even have a frozen pizza on hand. But what I do have (or can very easily grab and the corner grocery store) are the makings for a beautiful Meat and Cheese Platter with Fruit and that always-delicious marshmallow cream cheese fruit dip! This is one of my very favorite go-to ideas for that nearly-forgotten lunch or dinner. It takes about five minutes to pull together, looks impressive, and satisfies everyone from the most ravenous to those who barely want a nibble. Most importantly, the Meat and Cheese Platter last minute dinner allows me to focus on obliterating whichever family members happen to be part of the board game competition that caused me to forget dinner in the first place!
Just pull together an assortment of creamy, salty, and stinky cheeses, rich and filling salami or lunch meat, beautiful bunches of red and green grapes, sliced apples, red raspberries, ripe strawberries (if available), and a handful of juicy blueberries, along with a variety of crackers, and whip up the ever-a-favorite cream cheese/marshmallow creme fruit dip, and that’s all she wrote! The perfect Meat and Cheese Platter with Fruit and Dip! Who knew you could create such a beautiful and satisfying dinner in five minutes? (I did!!) Oh yeah… A nice glass of wine is awesome with this!
P.S. I’m definitely not here to push board games, but so many happy family memories have resulted from these games, that I thought I’d share with you a few of our favorites, just in case you’re interested, too!