DESCRIBE A TYPICAL FAMILY DINNER
We were a family of seven and we always ate dinner together. Our dinner hour was based on my father’s work day. He was a factory worker, rising at three or four each morning so our dinner hour was usually four in the afternoon. Saturday and Sundays were different as we ate our dinner early afternoon.
Another factor in our dinner time was based on my mother’s work day. She was a homemaker as were most of the mothers during that era. As the rhyme goes. Monday she washed the clothes early and hung them up to dry, Tuesdays she ironed the clothes, (no drip dry), Wednesday’s she baked, Thursday’s she shopped and Friday’s she cleaned from top to bottom. So four of those five days our meals were rather routine, we always knew what day of the week it was by our dinner that night. But, the other three days of the week we knew we would have something different and tasty.
Sunday dinners are the most memorable to me for many reasons. For one thing my father was well rested as his work week was Monday through Friday. Sunday’s were truly a day of rest and we looked forward to our largest meal of the week.
Our Sunday menu started with pasta, usually spaghetti with red sauce; a meat entree of either roast beef or pork with roasted carots and potatoes; or roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and corn or peas; always a tossed salad; dessert of cake or jello with sliced bananas.
But what I remember most about our Sunday meal was my Dad’s stories. As kids we were quick to eat, often just eating quickly, and like most children we wanted to hurry and go out to play. My father, however, captured our interest with stories of his youth, or his voyage to America, or when he met my mother. My father was not in any hurry to complete his meal, he started a story, paused to take a bite of his food, chewed slowly then gave us the next line or two of his story. We were impatient to hear the story without all the pauses, but he kept us at the table to hear more and ask our questions.
I don’t know if his story telling style was by design or not but it worked in keeping us at the table until he was finished with his meal. Each of us probably remember his stories a little differently, as my mother would sometimes interupt him with her take on how the story should go.
This is one of the most memorable family times I have, a good meal I took for granted, good stories I still remember and precious family time I now appreciate more than ever.