Remember back to your imaginary childhood slash a commercial for one of those Eddie Murphy movies where he dressed up in different fat suits? There were those scenes of Sunday Dinner: everyone gathered around a bountiful table, maybe yelling at each other for part of it, but by dessert, realizing how much they loved each other after all?
I want to bring that back/make that a reality for the first time! Who’s with me?
When I was living in San Francisco in my twenties, my roommates and I would invite people over almost every Sunday. I’d go shopping in the morning at the Berkeley Bowl (damn, I miss that place), and prep something amazing in the afternoon (back when I didn’t have to keep stopping every five minutes to turn on a Doc McStuffins or get someone a juice box, I could whip up something delicious pretty effing quickly).
We’d maybe start with a Cosmo or two (this was back in the Carrie and Samantha days, after all), then crack open a few bottles of cheap wine (until my friend Wyeth started working at Diageo, when our wine selection dramatically improved)-- and just feast. Drink and eat and laugh-- probably about the night before—and maybe watch the Sopranos after.
It usually wasn’t fancy-- in fact "fancy" goes against the principle of Sunday Dinner (please disregard most of my Dinner Party Tips, in fact). Nor was it particularly healthy—a big vat of Bolognese with pappardelle, gumbo and rice, racks of ribs with coleslaw and cornbread— but something about those kinds of foods bring people together. I hate the term “comfort food” worse than the word “moist”, but that’s what they were—foods that reminded all of us single, Top Ramen-eating transplants about our families back "home." Hopefully this weekly ritual helped to cobble together a new family in the Big City.
So tonight, whether you are cooking for your kids, or neighbors, or a bunch of random strays you met at the bar last night—invite them to come over, unshowered and in their yoga pants (just as you may be)-- and make a commitment to put some thought into tonight's dinner! Don't focus on that dreadful pit in your stomach that keeps reminding you that tomorrow is Monday! This is still Sunday, and gathering around a table with your loved ones is something to celebrate.
Bring back Sunday Dinner.