Inside Thoughts, Relationships

Connection Series – Part 7 – Interesting Conversations / An Easy Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew.

Very few people like small talk. Most of us hate it, yet we all do it. Whether we are doing it to put the other person at ease, or fill the silence and quell of our own social anxiety that we can find ourselves in from time to time, filling space by talking about things that we don’t really care about. I don’t care that it is 5 degrees colder today, and judging from the look on my neighbours bored face, neither does she. Yet we put up with each other’s “polite” ramblings hoping that the superficial conversation will in time lead to real conversation.

It is worse when you are around the dinner table, right? Cause you are stuck together for the duration of an entire meal. Deep down, we all want to go deeper, get past the pleasantries, and onto real conversation. The challenge is however to know how to begin.

That is where ‘Connection Games’ come in! If you are hosting a dinner party, or even over lunch at work, having coffee, or need to break the ice at a business or church meeting, I have used these games time and time again and they are perfect!

Here are connection games to spark some stories, trigger memories, give you a few belly laughs, and more often than not surprise you with stories, memories, and thoughts of the people around you that you previously didn’t know.

  • Go around the table. Each person speak three statements. Two truths and One Lie. The other guests from around the table have to pick the lie.
  • If you could have one guest, alive or dead, over for dinner who would it be and what would you ask them?
  • What is one book, movie, or podcast that changed the way you view the world and why?
  • Rose Thorn Bud. What is something in your last year that has been a rose/highlight in your life? What is something in the last year that has been a thorn/challenge? What is one thing in the up and coming year that you are looking forward to (Bud)?
  • What is one thing that surprised you about your spouse this year?
  • Have you ever had a teacher who has impacted you in a way that has changed your life? And how so?
  • What is one thing you admire about the person sitting on your right that you would like to see in your own life?

These are some of my favourite ones! Feel free to share one in the comments after reading this article! I would love to add to our collection.


The Dinner Party:

For some of us, in amongst the business of life, work and family, having people over for a meal can seem like a lot of work and energy that we don’t currently have capacity for in our lives.

However, beloved ones, relationships, of the right kind, are so restorative. So deeply life giving. If we were to prioritise them, I am convinced it would breath life, and energy into our days and into our lives. There is no better way to build lasting relationships than to have people over for dinner.

So the trick is not to avoid dinner parties because they are too much time in the kitchen, but rather to make dishes for your dinner parties that are simple, easy to execute, and include very little time in preparation! And delegate as much as you can to the guests that are coming.

Enter Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew! This has literally 5 ingredients. You put it all together in a big pot! Serve it with some hot brown rice, or steamed quinoa? And THAT IS ALL!!!

Get your guests to bring fruit and dark chocolate for dessert. Take note that these are finger foods which will not require utensils! That is less cleaning and washing up! 

Drinks? Ain’t nothing wrong with cold water my friends. Slice up some lime or lemons and put them in the glasses with some ice and you are pretty much Martha Stewart.

Here is the recipe:

Sweet Potato and Chicken Stew

  • 1.5kg organic chicken drumsticks
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup of tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 6 cloves of crushed garlic

Method

  • Put all ingredients in a large heavy set pot.
  • Put on high until it is boiling, and then turn to a simmer.
  • If it becomes a little low on liquid, add some chicken stock or water.

You don’t want it to be a soup, but you want to make sure that there is plenty of water for the chicken to cook in.

  • Simmer for 45mins -1 hour untill chicken is tender.
  • Season with plenty of cracked pepper and salt to taste!
  • Mark likes his served with some finely chopped chillies on top.

Conclusion: The Finale

This Connection Group series which I have been writing has endeavoured to inspire each of you to come to the table together. To open your homes to one another, share a meal together and engage in conversation beyond the superficial. In doing so, my desire was that you would also open your heart to one another. Sharing food, in one another’s homes over real conversation is the way that acquaintances become friends and friends become family.

Beloveds, we could conquer the world, and have every material thing we ever dreamed of,  but without the relationships we cultivate along the way it would be meaningless and empty.

This will be the last of this series. I pray I have given you some inspiration, invoked your own desire for deeper connection, and perhaps given you a little motivation and the tools, and the gentle nudge that you may have needed to open your home, your heart and your life to one another.

Beloved,

Let us come to the table together again,

Yours truly

Christine Greenwood

Reign in Life


Wink: Have you ever been at a wedding where your table was either full of strangers or people you don’t know well? Or an awkward work function? I feel your pain! Try one of these questions. Even if you play one of them, they open up the conversation and break the ice to facilitate other interesting questions and conversations. It will change your night.

P.S At the risk of sounding like a needy/insecure writer who needs affirmation, if this series has inspired you in anyway, do you think you could share an article or two with your friends and family? This would bless me more than you could know.

P.P.S Did you catch my other articles in this connection series?  See Below.

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