A Typical Italian Sunday Dinner...
For as long as I can remember we have always had a Sunday routine. Before I got married, my mother would make the big pot of Sunday sauce and we would all sit down to eat at 1 pm. Occasionally, she would make something else, like lemon garlic chicken, lasagna, pot roast or London broil; but mainly it was her traditional Sunday sauce with ziti and meatballs.
Once I met and started dating my husband, he would come over for a dish of macaroni on Sundays. After we married, 29 years ago, we would do our food shopping for the week, run errands, and end up at my mother’s by noon. The earlier we go there the better, especially after we had the girls. She could wait to see them and feed them, like every good Italian mother and grandmother. My cooking was never good enough for her granddaughters; no, they had to have the best and the “best” was always her cooking. After dinner, we would sit around talking and then have coffee and cake. My mother would always make us laugh with some of her stories about people she ran into or an annoying phone call, complaints about my father or reminiscing about the past.
Now, with both my parents gone, we have continued the tradition up to a point. My husband and I shop while the girls are sleeping, but I don’t always make a pot of sauce on Sunday. Today, for instance, I am making steaks. When I do make sauce or one of my mom’s traditional Sunday meals, I invite my brother over to eat with us. Otherwise, my brother will eat home and then come over to visit at 1 PM and stays for coffee and cake. My brother has taken over where my mother left off in the story department. It seems like he always has one up his sleeve. We will all be sitting in the living room making casual conversation and then he will pick his moment. He will start with something like “I heard from Maria yesterday…story” or “All the lights went out in my condo again, this happens three or four times a month, just a minute or two, long enough for me to have to reset all the clocks!” or “My friend called me to tell me he was stuck in Atlanta and I hung up on him because I thought he was joking…” The time always flies by and he likes to leave early, about 4 or 4:30, so he can get ready for work the next day. Don’t ask me what he has to get ready because I wonder about it every week. But, I do look forward to his visits and his stories, mostly because he is so animated when he tells them it’s almost like a re-enactment. I have to work on getting a video of him in action!
I don’t know how other families spend their Sundays, I just always assumed it was with family. That’s all I’ve ever known. I hope, as my daughters have families of their own one day, that they will want to continue to have family dinners together. We are fortunate enough in my family that we have always lived near one another and don’t have to wait for a special occasion to see each other. If you have time, let me know how you spend your Sundays.