Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Sunday Dinner Tradition

If you're Italian, you probably grew up going to "Sunday dinner" with your family. 

There was macaroni, wine poured into juice glasses, crusty bread for mopping up sauce. You'd eat a big meal early in the afternoon and then, there was probably napping of some sort.

For me, Sunday dinners were spent at my grandparents' house. I would run up the stairs and burst into my grandmother's kitchen, shoes scraping on her linoleum floor. The entire house smelled amazing, a mixture of garlic and tomatoes. She'd be at the stove, wooden spoon in hand, wearing her apron. I'd rush to her, throwing my arms around her legs and just breathe everything in. And when no one was looking, she'd sneak me a fried meatball and send me on my way to play.

Sundays meant time with family.

They still do, but it's so hard to find the time to dedicate an afternoon to cooking and relaxing, and just enjoying each other's company. 

There's always an errand to run, a load of laundry to be done or a chore to be finished.

But I want Baby M to grow up surrounded by family and traditions. I don't want him to ever feel we're too busy to do something, or that weekends – the time we'll really get to spend with him – is for rushing around and mindless tasks. I want him to feel like that time is all about him. Spending time with his family. I want him to know family traditions, so we have to start now.

This past Sunday, I hosted a Sunday dinner. 

I was up early at the grocery store, buying the cans of crushed tomatoes and the meat for the sauce.

My father-in-law made two big batches of homemade pasta.

I fried 50 meatballs and made the most delicious meat sauce with pork, sausage and braciola.

We had two servings each and bottomless red wine.

We played bocce.

And it was a perfect afternoon to bring back tradition.

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