Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Family Dinner

Although I've disagreed with some of what our our Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has proposed over the years, I've been inspired by his daily COVID-19 press conferences.  

Today, the Governor talked about Sunday dinner, saying we should, in these hard times:

Create some joy

Look for the silver lining

Cuomo talked about growing up in an Italian family.  Sunday dinner was a two or three hour affair.

As a divorced dad, the Governor tried to continue the tradition with his children, but he was not a great cook.  So bought the meatballs and sausage from a store, and then would prepare and simmer the sauce. Spaghetti and meatballs with sausage were served.  He would never admit he didn't make it, and his children, knowing what a terrible cook he was, wouldn't eat it.  So they would go for Chinese after.

Today he will have the family dinner on Skype and by phone.

This reminded me of when I first started to date my spouse, almost 50 years ago.  We were of different religions and cultures.  I was invited to Sunday dinner at his house - spaghetti and meatballs/sausage with sauce.  I was in a panic, because spaghetti wasn't often on the menu at my house.  Could I even eat it without getting it all over me?
A past dinner
I literally worried myself sick that day.  

But I grew to love Italian food, especially the food my mother in law, and later my spouse, made.  My mother in law was an excellent cook, and her son follows in her footsteps.

In my mother in law's last years, we would buy frozen meatballs and jarred sauce, and cook it in her small apartment in an independent living project.  We crowded around her small dining table, and it brought each of us joy.

No, we aren't going to have a family dinner today, and we don't know when we might have one next.  But just thinking of those meals brings me joy.

What about you?  How are you hanging in at this time of stress?


  1. I saw that press conference as well...I grew up in a fairly large Croatian family and Sunday dinners were not to be missed. Now, It is just us three; husband, myself and son (who still lives with us). We always have Sunday dinner together, around our large circular dining table. I hope to continue this when our son moves out and has a family of his own. I think the lessons we instill at an early age will be carried on, at least I would hope so.

    Great post in to which has been on my mind, look, I don't often agree with our governor, but what he said, rang so true.

  2. Blogging and reading blog posts helps!

  3. PS. We have several dedicated Trumpites in our family and it's my turn to have Easter dinner, which I'm not going to do this year. I hope Trump's vision for Easter Sunday hasn't given my relatives false hopes about a family dinner. :-)

  4. I also loved Cuomo’s story. And he’s absolutely right, we must try to create some joy in these difficult times. I’ve spent the better part of the weekend watching the Digital Renaissance Faire, performers who should be hard at work at various fairies across the country are streaming performances on Facebook. And looking for digital tips on PayPal and Venmo. Some of the performers are people I see every summer at the NY Faire, others are new to me, but it feels so good to watch ...

  5. I make a mess when I eat spaghetti. Did you ever learn to eat it neatly?

  6. Family dinners were a big thing when I was a kid on both sides of my family. Noe, it is mostly holidays and birthdays. But this year I am not doing Easter. We are not at all religious so it is more of a chance to get together which we will do when this nightmare ends.

  7. Hi Alana - it does sound an interesting early time together ... cooking we either ease into ... or sometimes completely missing out. I loved it and still do - but remember my brother ringing me up when he was ready with his supper and said he wanted a baked potato with it ... we only had an aga (coal heated stove; and no microwaves) ... so I just thought - oh dear - he had an hour before his potato would be ready! He was horrified ... and upset!! Fun memories ...

    Take care - we're all adapting to our own regulations and how we deal with our days ... all the best - Hilary


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