Sunday Picnic

One of the things I miss most about living in Utah is the delicious and elaborate Sunday dinners we would have with family. As far back as I can remember, half of my Sunday dinners were spent with my immediate family. My mom would spend the afternoon preparing dinner, and my dad would set the table with one of Mom's sets of fine china and silverware. Only now that I cook our own dinners every night do I appreciate the spread of dishes that was always on the Haines family Sunday dinner table. It was not uncommon to see roast, mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, homemade rolls, a salad, fruit, fancy whipped jello (always jello!), and any number of other delicacies all on the same table. Even when Mom had had a busy Sunday and wanted to "throw together" an "easy" meal, she would always make homemade waffles with poached eggs and a variety of other delicious toppings. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir or some other Sunday-appropriate CD (often classical music) would play in the background as we ate and talked. After dinner we'd enjoy a dessert and Dad would try to wrangle up a few of my brothers to help him wash the china dishes by hand in the sink.

Holy cow, Mom and Dad. You guys really outdid yourselves. I've got some large shoes to fill when we have kids of our own some day. The only person that can out-do my mom when it comes to Sunday dinner is my grandma. (And even then, it's a close call.)

The other half of our Sunday dinners were spent with extended family on my mom's side, and most of these dinners were at Grandma Roper's house. These dinners were equally elaborate and delicious and eaten on some of the loveliest china I've seen, but with the added benefit of uncles and aunts and cousins all sitting around the table, telling stories and laughing (or making bodily noises and laughing, if you were luckily enough to sit at the kids' table). My favorite Sunday dinners were eaten at Grandma's house on her back patio/lawn in the summer. After dinner, the kids would often bust out a game of croquet or badminton or steal the flag. Grandma Roper is a master gardener and has the most perfect backyard for gatherings (including our wedding reception). There would always be something delicious for dessert at Grandma's, too.

This is all to say that our Sunday dinners in Grenada have always felt somewhat . . . lacking. Partially because it's usually just the two of us, and partially because I can't bring myself to make more than one main dish and maybe some vegetables on the side, if I'm feeling fancy. Food here is expensive, and also I'd rather spend my Sunday afternoons taking advantage of having Jared all to myself than cooking up a storm.

I think we've finally found a good Sunday dinner tradition of our own though. This last Sunday, we went for a little drive up to Le Phare Bleu. We recently discovered that there are some fancy houses and normal roads up there, and we wanted to check out that action. I whipped up some basil chicken pasta (#fancy), put it in a tupperware (#doublefancy), and off we went to have a Sunday picnic dinner at Le Phare Bleu (I think the official town name is actually "Egmont"). We drove around the area for a bit, which is beautiful because it's tucked into the picturesque bay with a pretty bridge and a nice view of some private islands. We found a secluded patch of grass to put our picnic blanket down on and eat. After eating, we spied on the private Calivigny Island Resort through our binoculars, and then drove back home to talk to our families. I think we'll make this a once-monthly Sunday tradition of our own. It was nice to be in a nice neighborhood with a nice view, eating Sunday dinner together without feeling rushed or distracted. Also, spying on rich people with binoculars is always an appropriate Sunday activity.

1 comment

  1. I never realized how butt-hard it is to coordinate a bunch of side dishes until I started cooking dinners. I feel like I can barely get one main dish right! I don't have time to be making salad!

    So fun to read about your family's Sunday traditions. Sounds like you guys have a good system set up! I hope to someday create such traditions for my own kids and grandkids.



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