Sunday dinners at our house are kind of a big deal. Actually Sundays in general are one of my favorite days. After church there’s usually either a nap or a family event followed by the beginning of Sunday Dinner.
For the past couple of weeks, Christina and Sal have done most of the cooking, but it’s usually a group effort and its usually a fun time for us to get together as a family.
A week ago Sunday, Christina and Michelle made stuffed pasta shells while Caleb and I whipped up a homemadefromabox orange pound cake. I’ve always enjoyed cooking, but baking has pretty much been beyond my abilities. I was determined to redeem myself.
The girls made dinner look easy while Caleb and I struggled a bit to get the cake just right. Our first detour from the path of good cooking came when I was washing out the cake pan and heard Caleb say “ewww”.
I turned to find that he had decided to move forward without my help and had cracked an egg, emptied it directly onto the countertop and tossed the shell into the bowl...The "ewww" came from the egg running off the edge of the counter and down the front of his shirt.
Once we got that straightened out though, things moved forward pretty smoothly and we made good progress. We even “zested” an orange which was a first for both he and I and we made our own frosting out of powdered sugar, more orange “zest” and some orange juice. Who knew it was so easy?
Dinner ended up being delicious and Caleb and I were huge heroes for our homemade (from a box) orange pound cake with orange zest frosting.
The best part about Sunday dinner, in addition to a delicious home-cooked meal and getting everyone to stay home for an evening, is the fact that it allows us to spend time together. As our kids have gotten older and life has gotten busier it seems that the simple things get lost.
For many, our family included, family time has been replaced by sitting together in front of the TV, evening dinner is exchanged for drive through and take out, discussions are replaced by quick phone calls and emails, friendships have been replaced by time on facebook, twitter and texting....Sunday dinner is our family's attempt to rebel against all that and force ourselves to try to focus on something more important....our family.
The time we spend cooking is also a time when we can get caught up on each other’s lives. As we work with and around each other in the kitchen, the conversation flows freely. The casual interaction created by doing simple things in a comfortable atmosphere allows us to talk about things that we are either too busy or too distracted to discuss during the week.
The sad part is I know it won’t always be like this. Life is fighting us at every turn...Eventually Michelle and Chris’ house will close and they’ll move to Livermore. Their kids will have soccer, little league, school functions, whatever.
Too soon Christina will be moving on with her life and distractions will start crowding her calendar as well...
Deb and I will eventually have the nice, quiet household we always talk about but don’t really want and things will change forever. It won’t be better and it won’t be worse….it will just be different.
For now though...life is about as good as it gets...