Raise a Glass to the Sunday Supper!

If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him—the people who give you their food give you their heart.” Cesar Chavez said that.

And Julia Child said, “Dining with one’s friends and beloved family is certainly one of life’s primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul-satisfying and eternal.”

Wouldn’t you agree? It seems millions of Americans feel this way, at least that’s what Google says because “Sunday Suppers” is one of the top 10 Internet searches right now. Folks everywhere are coming back to the kitchen and calling family and friends in for a shared meal.

And the cool thing is, dinner with people we love can take place just about anywhere. At the dining or kitchen table, on the patio or deck, by a creek or river, even in a pasture or flower garden—they all work. There’s an innovative entrepreneur, Chef Jim Denevan, whose company Outstanding in the Field, brings hearty and wholesome meals to folks in meadows, beaches, desert mesas, rooftop gardens, or even mountain peaks. He says once people hear about this dinner opportunity, the guest list fills fast. Folks are not just hungry for a good meal, they’re hungry for connection—and dining together provides this.

And another cool thing is, these meals do not need to be elaborate. This bowl of kale and white bean chowder would be perfect paired with crusty dinner roles and hot fruit compote (topped with whipped cream, of course) for a fall or winter dinner.

Or you could always go the traditional (and fuss-free) route with a slow cooker pot roast and veggies. But the point is, food well chosen and well prepared always meet the needs of those around your table.

Finally, the last cool thing is meals for family and friends don’t need to take hours and hours to prepare. A good friend had folks in for pizza after work one night. She pulled from the freezer five or six of her favorite frozen pizzas and embellished them with extra shredded cheeses, chopped fresh basil, diced tomatoes, leftover grilled chicken, and sliced olives. I only knew they were frozen pizzas because I stayed after to help clean up and saw the boxes in her trash. Who cares if they were fresh or frozen? They were good, we had a great time being together, and we were all grateful she took the initiative to do this.

Well, I’m like all the other millions of Americans wanting to be together with family and friends more often. And since a meal is the perfect setting, I’m planning a neighborhood fresh air pot luck for June. Our home sits in a sort of circle and this circle is the perfect place to set up long folding tables and chairs and share a fun night of good food. We have a few new neighbors we old-timers don’t really know yet, so this will be a good way to get acquainted, build a memory, and maybe start a tradition! (I’ll take pictures and report back.)

And speaking of traditions when it comes to dining together, Dan’s executive assistant, Barbara, and her husband Jim, host a neighborhood July 4th gathering every year. Jim is a master barbecuer/meat-smoker and he built himself an enclosed barbecue just for this purpose. Their gatherings are reknown and folks can’t wait for this delightful opportunity to share Jim’s amazing meats and connect with each other.

How about you—what’s your dining-together routine? And do you have favorite menus or recipes you turn to for such occasions? Tell us about them. Meanwhile, a new chapter in my Cook’n, Favorite Sunday Suppers, is in the works and the hunt for just the right crowd-pleasing dessert goes on. See you for at the table!

  •   www.defense.gov
  •   www.sunday-suppers.com
  •   www.bonjourbruxelles.blogspot.com

    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
    Email the author! alice@dvo.com

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