My family had one of those evenings not long ago. Having found myself with a glut of cherry tomatoes, I decided to roast some of them with a little olive oil and rosemary. Coincidentally, I also had a beautiful loaf of rustic Italian bread that made the perfect foundation for bruschetta. So I roasted and toasted, but before I had a chance to get anything to the table, my boys huddled around the counter and started to construct their own bruschetta masterpieces, using the roasted tomatoes and other treasures they hunted out of the fridge.
One thing led to another and after much culinary creativity, along with a lot of talking, laughing and noshing, we had finished dinner right there at the counter. It's an evening I will remember, especially now that my boys are getting older and I know that these moments will soon become fewer and farther between.
While bruschetta can be the catalyst for an evening like this, so can any meal that the family cooks together. After all, it doesn't really matter where you eat it, as long as you're eating it together. And if you can enjoy the process of making it, too? I can't think of anything better.
Meredith Deeds of Edina is the author of "Everyday to Entertaining" and "The Big Book of Appetizers." Reach her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @meredithdeeds.