Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Dinner: Anything after 2p.m. is late...

I,  have many great memories growing up in New Jersey. From the snow days, where we would go sleigh riding with all the other kids in town, to the 4th of July parade my hometown was famous for. Well, one thing that we still try to do is the tradition of Sunday dinner.
Nowadays, it seems almost impossible to have the whole family unit sit down at the same time to enjoy a good home-cooked meal. From all kinds of scenarios like both parents working full-time, single parents working long hours, the kids involved in many extra-curricular activities, to even the kids having jobs after school and on the weekends.

Sunday always seemed like the best chance to have everyone together as a family unit. No school and no work left little reason to not sit down together. It was always a great time to truly forget the outside distractions and enjoy life at home. There were no try outs, no tests, no deadlines; the pressures of everyday life for young and old did not exist. The only concern was if there was enough food.

Even siblings didn't bicker as much. We all shared something in common at that moment.... eachother. Sundays were and should still be raw. Stripped of all society's labels and expectations, the family unit should shine on Sundays. Reliant upon itself, which is made up of its members. For my family, it was a time to enjoy a peaceful time with those that will forever be with us and in retrospect, I feel it was a time for my parents to enjoy what they have worked for.

For my parents, it was a moment to observe another week passed and another to begin. It was a moment to remind themselves that up to that point it has been worth it and that realization gave them the motivation to keep doing what they are doing.

But I digress, Sundays have been and should always be a fun day for everyone to relax, laugh, play , & eat together. The day revolved around the meal. I would so often wake up to the smell of the sauce cooking on the stove. Sunday mornings were laid back but they were never late mornings. Everyone had to be up and about by a decent time. After all, dinner was no later than 2p.m.

That's right, all the preparations were for an early dinner. And if anyone was not seated at the table at that time, well let's just say it was a punishable infraction. And for guests to show up late, well there would be second thoughts on inviting latecomers to Sunday Dinner.

It was weird but normal. Dinner in the daylight. And then at 6p.m. or so, we would just reheat the food and eat some more. Then came the fruit, then the cake & pastries accompanied by espresso & coffee. And if guests were present, like aunts & uncles, well then came the card games. These are practices that we still maintain. The roles have changed, but the script remains the same.

For someone like myself, when the daily grind has got me worn, I can always look forward to a Sunday gathering for an early dinner full of laughs, food, and family. May your Sundays be filled with the same goodness that graces my family's tables.

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