I don't know how much of a tradition this still is, but growing up in the 70s, a special Sunday dinner was a common occurrence and a pretty big deal. The matriarch of the family--paternal or maternal grandmother--would prepare a luxus meal--usually a late lunch--and invite the extended family over to partake.
My maternal grandmother was not much of a cook, quite frankly. She lived in rather straightened circumstances most of her life and was abstemious in the extreme. Consequently, she was loth to shoot the works in the kitchen, and I think felt a mild disdain to those who did. This culinary puritanism did not, however, prevent her from preparing one hell of a roast beef with mashed taters, rolls, gravy and all the usual trimmins. This was her Sunday dinner and it was easily the best thing she ever cooked.
My paternal grandmother, although also a bit poor, had no such qualms about ritzing it up in the kitchen, and she was a superb country cook. Her Sunday specialty was supernal fried chicken--everybody who tried it agreed it was the best they had ever tasted--with biscuits, cream gravy, green beans, etc. We grandkids practically fought over the "pulley bone" and always broke the wishbone, with the lucky kid holding the long piece getting to make a wish. After dinner, the adults smoked and drank and played 42, canasta or 31 while we kids did what kids do. Great times.
Did you have such experiences as a child? Do you still?
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