Something happened to our Sunday dinners this busy season. They’re usually what I manage to hang on to after watching our weeknight dinners dissipate one by one from thoughtful, healthy salads and planned entrees, to a quick forage through the wilted inhabitants of my veggie bin for something to saute with rice or pasta. Throw in some garlic and it’s dinner, right? Hardly, but it can be eaten in a bowl, sometimes as late as 9:30 p.m. while we’re huddled in our dimly lit family room in front of a recorded show and making weary attempts at questioning one another about the day.
It’s no wonder that looking forward to uninterrupted time in the kitchen draws my attention to the weekend where the result is pleasant time together over a meal that is special — read: is served on a plate at a reasonable hour. The idea of “special” seems to be part of a process to me; a recipe catches my eye and lingers on the periphery of the minutiae that accumulates in my head, and somehow I manage to remember the main ingredient while on one of my less than stellarly organized grocery shopping trips. The remembered ingredient is then wedged into my freezer, which just might contain the very same ingredient somewhere in its depths, as a reminder that Sunday dinner is a possibility. Hopefully, this classifies me as an optimist.
Time goes by. Other ingredients are collected in other stop-after-work trips to the store for the cat food or laundry detergent I forgot on the previous trip, and because those ingredients are often perishable, they become part of a different meal (see above). It’s a vicious cycle.
Finally, the day arrives as it does each year. Busy season ends, and glimmers of a normal life surface. The long-awaited day in the kitchen and meal are planned and the big question looms: Will it have been worth the wait?
(And this has nothing to do, of course, with the fact that Chef Voltaggio not only took the time to comment on my effort, but put a shout-out about my speck in the food universe on his site, Voltaggio Brothers in “Food Writing.”)
A gracious and hearty thanks to Michael Voltaggio!