Friday, April 27

Bring Back Sunday Dinner

Hey, come over here, kid, learn something. You never know, you might have to cook for twenty guys someday. You see, you start out with a little bit of oil. Then you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, tomato paste, you fry it; ya make sure it doesn't stick. You get it to a boil; you shove in all your sausage and your meatballs; heh?... And a little bit o' wine. An' a little bit o' sugar, and that's my trick.
-Clemenza teaching Michael to cook. The Godfather, Part I.

When Jeff and I were dating, we would on occasion deliver papers for his family’s Sunday morning paper route. I distinctly remember his mother’s detailed descriptions of whose paper went where: Mr. Lisi, the front door, Ms. Vitale, the side door, the Di Fusco’s, the front door if the screen was open but the back if it was locked. I also distinctly remember the smell that hit you when you walked up each of the little driveways early in the morning and opened the screen doors. Not coffee, not maple syrup, not bacon and eggs, but gravy.

Many Italian-Americans on the East Coast refer to tomato sauce that is cooked with meat (pork and/or beef) as “gravy.” To make it correctly takes hours, and where we grew up, every Italian-American woman with any pride started the gravy at breakfast to be ready for 2:00 Sunday dinner.

Though every family had variations, the basic premise was the same: braise cuts of pork (sausages or other cuts from the butcher) in garlic and olive oil. Make a sauce from fresh or canned tomatoes. Then make a huge batch of meatballs to be added to the gravy. Last, make the pasta, which was always cavatelli. Cavatelli (pronounced cah-va-ti or cah-va-tel by most Rhode Islanders) was never a mid-week pasta, maybe because it never made as much as other types of pasta, like spaghetti, and because it was more expensive. Add some chicken (on the side), salad, a loaf of crusty Italian bread, and some red wine (just from a screw top gallon or in my parents’ generation, homemade wine), and Sunday dinner was complete.

It was exactly the same every Sunday, (save for a few radical variations like raisins in the meatballs or prunes in the gravy in the 80’s) yet we always looked forward to it. My mother, like her mother before her, managed to make a hearty meal for the whole family without blowing the weekly budget. From the time my hands were big enough to roll the meatballs, it became my contribution. Standing in the kitchen for hours with my mom never seemed like a chore to me; we talked and laughed the entire time I rolled the meatballs, without regard to my cold, wrinkled fingers. There was never a recipe--you just knew how they should look, feel, and smell.

The amazing thing is long before we knew each other, 6 miles away at Jeff’s house, at that very same moment on Sunday mornings, his mother and grandmother would be in their kitchen cooking the gravy and rolling the meatballs. Jeff’s contribution at his house was periodically dunking the bread in the gravy. Who could blame him? Everyone knows that’s the best part.

Sadly, I can’t imagine cooking these Sunday dinners today; it seems old-fashioned. Instead, we quickly cook some tomatoes on the stove top, add some fresh basil, and we're done. Who’s got 6 hours to make the Sunday dinner? Most of us are too busy; today we are a “30-minute-meal” society. But then I think, weren’t our mothers busy too? How did they do it?

I sometimes wonder if I would have preferred to have been born in my parents’ generation; my mother tells me I romanticize this. Yet, there is something comforting about the predictability of a ritual like making the gravy on Sundays. In fact, Jeff and I have lived away from home for about 10 years, and while we love our independence, we still reminisce about Sunday dinners. It’s not just the food we miss, but the people. The way no one would dare eat until my grandmother was situated at the table. The way Jeff’s grandfather would always be the last to finish – usually after the dishes were already cleared. I remember the kitchen windows steaming up from the simmering gravy as I stood next to my mother talking and rolling and stirring. Even though I haven’t made a meatball in close to 20 years, I still remember exactly how to do it.

This past Sunday, I rolled up my sleeves and rolled out some meatballs. Starting early (well, after the gym anyway) Jeff and I made Sunday dinner for two. The sound of the wooden spoon banging on the pot to shake off the gravy, the site of bits of red tomato splattered on the white stove, and the smell of frying meatballs brought us right back. If only we could have everyone over.

Did you (or do you still) have a Sunday dinner tradition?

The lovley Bee from Jugalbandi generously asked me to contribute to her Postcard Series, a collection of posts of cultural snapshots from around the world. Read more postcards here.

Italian-American Gravy
Print recipe only here.

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
4 sweet Italian sausage links
3 (28-ounce) cans of San Marzano tomatoes
1 large onion
2 whole garlic cloves
3/4 cup red wine
1 tsp crushed red pepper
Salt, to taste
7-8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

1 pound of ground beef (I used lean)
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup canola oil

1 pound of pasta
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a large heavy pot over medium-low heat, warm 1 Tbsp olive oil and add sausages. Cook about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until browned all over; remove from heat.

Pour the San Marzano tomatoes in a large bowl, and crush them with your hands (or use a food mill if you prefer).

Heat the second Tbsp of olive oil in the same deep pot; add garlic cloves and saute for about 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and discard garlic. Pour in the tomatoes (with their juice), red wine, crushed red pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, for about 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Find your mother or daughter or other suitable companion, then...

Place the meat in a large bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, cheese, and parsley. In a small bowl, beat the egg with some salt and pepper; add to the meat mixture. Mix the ingredients with your hands until the consistency is moist and the meat holds together well. If it’s too dry, add some water or another beaten egg. If it's too moist, add more breadcrumbs. Once the consistency is right, using your hands, roll the meatballs into 1 ½ inch balls. It should make about 22-24 meatballs.

Mix the olive and canola oils in a large skillet over medium heat. Fit as many meatballs in the skillet as you can without overcrowding so you have room to turn them. Cook about 2-3 minutes until browned, then turn over and cook another 2-3 minutes, until all sides are evenly browned. Place on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess oil. Repeat as necessary.

The meatballs can also be baked if you prefer not to fry them. To bake them, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place meatballs on a tinfoil-lined baking sheet (for easy clean up) and cook for 20 minutes, or until browned.

Add the cooked meatballs and sausage to the gravy after it has simmered for about an hour. Simmer for an additional 60 minutes (or up to several hours if you want to be authentic). If the gravy becomes too thick, simply add small amounts of water or water mixed with a bit more red wine.

In the meantime, cook pasta in salted water according to the directions until al dente. Once cooked, add the gravy, top with meatballs and sliced sausages, and sprinkle with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and fresh basil.

"Hey, I can't eat this crap. Bring me some pasta with gravy and meatballs.”
-Paulie Walnuts to Italian waiter after being served a plate of seafood pasta while visiting Italy. The Sopranos.

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Shannon said...

I think that's the thing families are missing nowadays....rituals.

It's very comforting to have something to look forward to where everyone will be in the same place at the same time enjoying each other's company.

My husband and I relocated to NH with our young children and I miss having the luxury of getting the family (Aunts, Uncles, cousins, etc) for a get together at whim.

I think this Sunday, I'll make a nice dinner for the 5 of us.

Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

There's always a huge tradeoff between ritual and variety. Lots of rituals here in Italy...sometimes I crave the variety. Sometimes ritual's familiarity is comforting and I crave that.

I definitely crave some Italian-American sausage and meatballs (you can't get that sweet sausage here). My grandmother was from the East Coast and passed on her meatball recipe to my dad before she died...good times.

I think something different from your recipe is that we always add sugar and rice - they are a tiny bit sweet like the sausage.

Thanks for sharing Susan - and how is your carpal's?

Stella said...

Hi Susan, what a gorgeous gravy you've posted here!
My family don't keep up with any traditional Sunday dinners BUT we still do have our vegetables & chicken porridge every single Saturday for lunch!

Anonymous said...

Hi Susan, I'm with you - bring back Sunday dinners - and family dinners on weeknights for that matter! I agree with Shannon, it's a ritual that is sorely lacking in this generation. I too have memories of family gatherings, and secretly snitching a bite or two of things as they were being prepared...

This recipe sounds utterly divine!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh, Susan, this is a most wonderful post. My heart aches reading about the little girl rolling meatballs in cold hands in her mother's beautifully warm and laugh filled kitchen.
Yes, our mothers were busy and didn't have some of the labor saving devices that we do, how did they do it?
Sometimes these traditons are started with intent such as your Sunday dinner here.
Lovely post!!

Anonymous said...

Wow. So much to comment on. First, an amazing post--wonderful memories beautifully told. While it seldom involved gravy, Marion and I used to do Sunday dinners every weekend for a rotating cast of friends--just a few, certainly not 20. It was wonderful, a perfect end to the weekend. Now that we've moved to a new apartment that's really conducive to entertaining, we're starting to revive these Sunday dinners.

Regarding gravy, you're right to call it an Italian American thing, not truly Italian. I must admit that while I love gravy on occasion [red sauce to me], when I've had the genuine article [one guy even crushed his own fresh tomatoes and cooked them down into a sauce], it hasn't been an omigod experience that warranted the hours of work your mother and relatives went through. Personally, I tend to prefer the "crap" that Paulie sent back.

Still, the experience and tradition of what you remembered so eloquently for us is a fabulous memory to cherish.

Sorry for the tome, Susan. Great writing like yours always gets me going.

bee said...

thank you, susan, for this evocative and heart-warming post. will let you know when we feature it.

Asha said...

What a story and memory behind this dish!!I love reading that.

I have many dishes like Alfredo sauce and Pasta Primavera,they say is from Italian Americans but not from Italy!:))

Dish is mouthwatering,Thanks for that Susan.

Mishmash ! said...

Hey Susan, enjoyed reading about your Italian-American family was a moving write up and looking at your pic, my hubby said," I 'm craving for some of that " :)


Lis said...

Great post, Susan =)

Brought back some memories!


cookiecrumb said...

I'm glad you decided to do it. As I was reading your story I kept thinking, "Do it!" Heh.
Say, what difference do you think cooking the sauce for several hours makes, once you've got past the first hour? (Oh, I just thought of the answer: It fills your home with that aroma for so much longer!)

Chris said...

What a lovely post (again)! I whole heartedly believe Sunday dinners need to be revived. Some of my best memories came from those dinners (which your gravy dipped bread pic helped evoke). I could go off on a tangent and say kids today (the ones with whom I come in contact on a daily basis) need that family time...but I won't. But, I have always said if I ever have a family, Sundays are the days where traditions will begin.:) Thanks for the memories!

Madame K said...

Susan, right on.
Your memories overlap with mine in a strange way - that scent of the gravy cooking must have permanently lodged in my nostrils.
I just spoke to my dad about how much we miss those dinners. He was hungry for my grandmothers artichokes (completely overcooked in that homestyle way - probably because they were boiled all day long) and lamenting our self-obsessed lifestyles.
Now I KNOW we need to host our "virtual" Sunday dinner!

Deborah Dowd said...

This is exactly the reaason I started a blog.. to entice families back to the table. We still have family sunday dinner every week for whichever kids can be there and their gguests. While I usually don't spend six hours in the kitchen, I usually try to do something special and the eveing includes board games or cards or movies in cold or rainy weather or badminton or croquet in fair weather!

Anh said...

Susan, I love your post - about the tradition Sunday dinner. The pasta and meatball looks good, too. I like the way you write the recipe - very detailed and passionate. :)

Anonymous said...

i wish i had a sunday ritual again, but since i moved to the US, i didn't have one anymore. for my family, sunday ritual going out eating porridge or dim sum :)
i love italian foods, if i was your neighbor, i'll knock on your door every sunday :D

Lisa Johnson said...

Those meatballs look so pretty frying in that pan! I remember helping my mom bake when I was growing up. I used to love to mix the batter and roll out dough, and taste along the way too! ; )

Anonymous said...

Susan, your stories are always so beautiful and heartwarming. Everytime I read your blog I always comment on how well written it is to my boyfriend. This recipe is great (I'm totally tagging this one)!

I know what you mean about quick 30 min meals, meals on the go, etc. etc. Although I don't have a sunday tradition, I try to have a sit down dinner for my boyfriend and I every night. He's really busy in grad school so it's a good opportunity for him to unwind and we can talk about our day.

Gattina Cheung said...

what a beautiful post Susan!
I make gravy from my mother-in-law's recipe, but always find hers (when we go see her) taste much better! Companion make food taste great!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Yes, yes, yes!!! Bring back Sunday dinner! You are absolutely right that all it really takes is a little thought and planning, and it can be one of the best moments in a "too-busy" week. Great post!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Shannon-Thank you for visiting and for your thoughtful comment. I'm thrilled that you're inspired to make a Sunday dinner!

Msadventuresinitaly-I know what you mean. Jeff and I love our time together on Sundays, but there are times when the longing for those comforting Sunday dinners really tugs at our heartstrings. I don't recall using rice at all, but I know many families added sugar to the gravy(though my mom didn't). My arms are much better; thanks so much for asking! :)

Valentina-Saturdays, Sundays, any day is good, as long it has special meaning for you. :)

Gilly-It's those little tasty "sneaks" that really get the appetite going! ;)

Tanna-Thank you for your lovely comment. You warmed my heart. :)

Terry B.- Thoughtful and sincere comments like yours "get me going" too.

Bee-Thanks for the opportunity to participate.

Asha-So true. Italian-Americans apparently created a lot of dishes that never appeared in Italy. But that's part of cultural and culinary experiences, isn't it? They're constantly being adapted.

Shn-You tell your hubby there's plenty for everybody! ;)

Lis-Oh, I'm glad to hear it. :)

Cookiecrumb-Cooking it longer enhances the meat flavor and makes a thicker sauce, but I like your answer better.:)

Chris-I know what you mean. So many kids today don't really know what a sit-down meal shared with family is like. It can provide families opportunities to teach values and pass on beliefs and traditions.

Karen-I know. When Jeff and I were cooking, we were stunned by our sensory experience. The smell of the frying meatballs, the taste of the rich sauce, the sounds of the tomatoes bubbling, etc... It was like being transported back in time. Don't even get me started on artichokes (another family tradition)! ;)

Deborah-I don't spend 6 hours either; I think what's most important is doing something that's meaningful to you and your family like your dinners and activities.

Anh-That's so kind of you to notice the way I write the recipes. Thanks!

Eliza-And if you were my neighbor, I'd gladly share some with you. :)

Anali-Oh, I just adored baking with my mom; those are some of my best memories of growing up.

Amy-Thank you for your kind words. I really enjoy writing the stories, so it's gratifying to hear that you enjoy reading them. My husband and I have a sit-down dinner every night as well. We look forward to it each day.

Gattina-Hah! Theirs always tastes better! ;)

T.W.-I've gotta tell you, rolling those meatballs and making the gravy was truly relaxing. It sure beats running errands. ;)

Anonymous said...

This looks marvellous! I've got a few questions though - what are sweet italian sausages? Also, what kind of red wine would you recommend for the gravy? With the colder season in play here at the moment, I need more hearty recipes like this to try :D

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

When we lived in Dallas where my grandparents were, it was always braised brisket with carrots and potatoes. But when my family moved to Houston, we decided to forgo cooking and always went out for Tex-Mex after church. While tasty, I missed the homemade brisket--that was Sunday dinner for me. Great post! Now that I'm a heathen in NYC, Sunday "dinner" is usually a bagel served with the Sunday Times. Bring back Sunday dinner indeed!

Sig said...

Beautiful story Susan, you know I always love reading your posts, trips down the memory lane... Glad you finally decided to try it, keep the tradition alive!

For us Sunday dinners are the worst, just the thought of having to go back to work the next day make us extra lazy, so it is leftovers for dinner or order a quick thai takeout :(

Melting Wok said...

hehe..American-Italian way - canned tomatoes, Italian Sunday ritual - hours of simmering meat sauce ? I prefer this very much :)

Scribbit said...

Okay I now realize how hungry I am. I'm going to get a snack--and I'd die for a plate of that.

Lucy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan from Food Blogga said...

Ellie-Italian sausages come in either "sweet" or "hot" varities. I know they typically contain fennel seeds, though I'm not sure exactly which seasonings are used for each. The sweet ones are milder though. Not that I have, but you can actually buy sweet Italian sausages online. As for wine, I wouldn't use your most or least expensive bottle. I used Chianti in my sauce, though just about any red wine works.

Lisa-I love the urban "heathen" lifestyle too, but good old Sunday dinners are great once in a while too.

Sig-I know what you mean; Sundays nights can be real bummers when Monday mornings loom.

Shirley-It was a more relaxed time.

Michelle-I'd love to give you a plate. :)

thepassionatecook said...

i'm not a fan of meatballs... but the idea of a slow-cooked tomato sauce has me hooked!
at my parents, the sunday morning smell was of at least two heads of crushed garlic, which was slowly taken over by the smell of roast pork (rubbed with the garlic and ground coriander and caraway). that would go in the oven before we went to church and be almost ready on our return.
i don't make it often enough, but the cut is hard to find and i do indulge in such a long breakfast that lunch is out of the question.
in a way i think we lose some of our old traditions, but we also gain new ones - and i wouldn't miss a cooked breakfast (eggs benedict, pancakes etc) for the world now, back home we got but a slice of rye bread with butter and jam...

Anonymous said...

Susan, this is such a lovely post. You made me nostlagic for meals I never even knew. I think we should all reserve a Sunday once in a while for the old time lunch of our grandmothers, be they Italian, Austrian, Korean, French or, as in my case, Lebanese. These traditions are too precious to lose. Thanks for the memories.

Anonymous said...

Susan, this post is one of your best! Heartwarming; mouthwatering and thought-provoking. I am a huge advocate of bringing back (and maintaining!) family traditions.Whether it be the Sunday dinner or the Friday night sabbath meal or anything in between. Also, thanks for sharing your family recipe for Meatballs and gravy. With your permission, I would love to include it in my book (in progress): Around the Table: Culinary Adventures Rooted in Family Tradition.

Anonymous said...

I simply love meals like that; ones that are lovingly cooked and fussed over, something that nourishes not only the body but the soul, the heart and the eyes. Our family always had a 'special' Sunday supper, it was time well spent cooking something nice but rarely the same on any given week.

I absolutely love a good meatball and especially in a thick and zesty tomato sauce, or gravy as it is called. Something about it is so comforting and nostalgic, and I never grew up in the circumstances that you did with it happening all around you. But somehow, it just speaks of home to me.

Anonymous said...

Loved this post. And those photos! It's 11:45 and I think it's time for lunch. I wish I had some of that pasta and gravy! :)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Ah, you don't have to be Italian to have Sunday dinner! At my Jewish grandmother's house, there was no "gravy" on the Sunday stove, but there always was some kind of stew (flanken was most common), along with a slew of side dishes that constituted Sunday dinner. Your post brings back wonderful memories.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Susan, that piece of bread soaked in sauce is making me run to the kitchen and prepare something similar - and we've had lunch only 2 hours ago!

Becca said...

This recipe sounds so wonderful. I think that I know exactly what my husband and I are going to be doing this coming weekend!

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I loved this entry. I idealize my grandmother's time-period a lot and she tells me that she would have prefered it if she'd had a microwave. Grass is always greeners on the other side I guess!

Ari (Baking and Books)

wheresmymind said...

*sigh* I do wish my wife wasn't vegetarian...I'd love to cook these dinners more often!

Anonymous said...

Such a great post. We still have big Sunday dinners but they don't take all day to cook.

Sher said...

They call it gravy in San Francisco too. Loved this post--and the quotes from two of my favorite stories on film--The Godfather and The Sopranos.

Anonymous said...

hooray for gravy! this looks so good, us nice italian girls know how the bring the meatballs. i just made a batch to fill the freezer. chris is a happy man!

Anonymous said...

I haven't made gravy in years, but I think I will this weekend. Thank you for this touching post.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Johanna-I hope you try it; it is a relaxing way to spend a Sunday morning.

Christine-Reserving occasional Sundays is a great suggestion.

Ronnie-Thank you for the compliments. I am flattered that you'd include me in your book. Look forward to talking about it more.

Kate-Thank you for the beautiful comments. If it "speaks of home" to you, then I couldn't be more gratified.

Luisa-Thanks for the visit. The leftovers are great for luches.

Lydia-That's what so lovely about Sunday dinners: each family sharing their own traditions.

Patricia-Like I said: that's the best part! ;)

Becca-Oh, I'm so happy to hear it! Thanks for the visit.

Ari-So true! ;)

Jeff-We're in the same boat, so meatballs for Jeff are a special treat.

Kristen-I'm not surprised. You're such a great mom.

Sher-They don't come better than The Godfather and The Sopranos.

Aria-Really? Hah! :) Jeff was a happy man too!

Anthony-That's fantastic! I hope it comes out well.

Helene said...

Your story reminded me so much of my family. Things have changed slightly but we still do sunday dinners (well, they, because I am not in France anymore). I call during that time as I know I will be able to talk to many cousins, uncles and aunts, all gathering around a nice lamb roast or a big couscous.
Thanks for sharing your memories with us, as well as a great recipe.

Anonymous said...

Although I am nowhere near Italian, pasta with meatballs in tomato sauce (now gravy!) has always been a great comfort dish for me...perhaps it was the love and warmth of all those Italian mamas making the gravy for Sunday dinner :)

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

You make me want to eat at all hours of the night...

Stephanie Appleton said...

Sunday dinner is whatever I can throw in the crock pot to be done when we get home from church. Usually it is just us, sometimes other family.

I don't cook in the evening. Popcorn, leftovers, ice cream what ever we can find is the evening meal.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post, wonderful writing.

I know that no one these days feels that they have six hours to spend making dinner but I can't imagine that most of us are truly using our time for somethng more valuable then the family connections those ritual Sunday dinners create.

Anonymous said...

Waou !! Your menu is very good and your pasta is mamamia

s'kat said...

My family never really had many food traditions, so I love posts like this! Plus, those lovely photos have my stomach growling, and I've still got a couple of hours until lunch!

Pip said...

Wonderful post, I love to read your family stories. It's amazing to read about Italian-American food-traditions, they're quite different from Italian ones! (One thing is for sure: to get a perfect gravy you need a lot of time!! ;))

Meeta K. Wolff said...

Susan, you alway capture my heart with your beautiful stories. A perfect way to end my Saturday afternoon blog hopping. Now I will be thinking about you and your wonderful family tradition for the rest of the day!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful remembrance, Susan. I can't say that we have had a Sunday dinner tradition. We were very much a dinner in front of the TV family. I suppose that's why I feel a tinge of jealousy hearing you describe your tradition. I have to say I feel the time of year is right again for "gravy." There's something about tomato sauce that only seems appropriate to me when the sun is out. Maybe it's that the freshness and zing of tomato sauce just doesn't seem to match the grey skies of a Canadian winter.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Helene-I'm glad you're able share with them even if it's just a phone call.

Joey- Oh, it's the ultimate comfort food!

Tim-Ah, I love the sound of those words. ;)

Stephanie-Those Sunday night snacks can be fun too.

Julie-Well said; thanks.

Pom d'api-Thanks so much!

S'kat-Then get yourself some gravy and pasta!

Pip-That's why I said "Italian-American. :)

Meeta-And you just made my day! :)

Rob-It's the memories that my husband and I savor most.

Michael said...

Thanks so much for this great article and recipe. I just finished graduate school, and I woke up this Sunday morning thinking how nice it would be to make a slow cooked Italian-American meal...and then I found your site! I am from southern Connecticut, and though ethnically polish, culturally I am Italian American, so this meal definitely brings me back home.

Thanks a lot!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Michael-Thank you for that lovely comment. I am truly happy that the post evoked warm memories for you. I hope you search my recipe archives. There are other Italian dishes you might like! Ciao!

Amber Hayes said...

When I came across this post tonight my heart was completely warmed! My family is Italian and I grew up in a household where family dinners on Sunday were very important. I would wake up on Sundays mornings to the smell of sauce cooking and I know we were always in store for something good. Thank you for this sweet blog post!

Mark C said...

Hi ,Susan
Great story on Sunday Dinners.I grew up in Revere Ma (very Italian City).My house was an open house for family and friends to come in and eat and drink.Not only on Sunday but everyday.My mom was always cooking something and my friend were always eating over.I live in NH now, but I still cook Sunday Dinners.Making gravy ,Broccoli Rapi,Roast lamp,Calamari,Chicken Parm,Eggplant Parm,I made artichokes yesterday.MMMMMMMMM .Reading your story made me think of all the GREAT times I had growing up. These days nobody has the time .(You Have to Make the Time).You only live ONE life so enjoy it while you can.Thanks for the story. Ciao! Ciao!

Anonymous said...

New reader, new fan, big. fan.
I made your gravy last Sunday and I believe that I would like to be Italian from here on out. Wonderful stuff. Enjoy your blog very much, so, thanks!

Samantha Angel said...

We have just stared doing Sunday dinners at my Grandmother's house in the last two months. It started because she was very ill and i think it has continued because we all have fun and eat and enjoy being together.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I made a new years resolution this year to have our children over at least once a month for a sunday dinner. They all agreed and so far so good!

Mary G. said...

Having been raised in a large Italian family, I knew the fun of every Sunday at "grand mom's" house for macaroni and meatballs. So, when I stopped working I tried to bring back the tradition at my house for my kids and grandkids. They all worked so i thought they would enjoy having a nice, home cooked meal. Some weeks i even made "homemades". After about 5 weeks my son commented that I should make something else! WHAT??? It's all about the gravy and meatballs, what's wrong with you?? That was the end of that!!

karyn said...

Exactly how it was when I was growing up...bread dipped in sauce still is the best part! Also, my grandmother and mother used ground pork and ground beef for the meatballs, which we could devour even before they made it into the sauce...