Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Return of Sunday Dinner: The World's Best Pork Roast

I haven't written about our Sunday dinners much recently because Sunday dinner has taken a back-seat to grading midterms, cleaning the house, and trying to squeeze in some much-needed fun family time.  In the past two months we've taken great trips to the LA County Fair, a local farm, and the great food show at LACMA.  Unfortunately, our dinners have been pretty much pulled together from whatever we had roaming around in the refrigerator.  I think there's definitely a time for letting Sunday dinner take a backseat to other concerns, but I am thrilled to report that thanks to my husband, Sunday dinner is back at our house.
The best pork roast I have ever eaten, Sunday, November 14, 2010.

A few months ago the stress of daily life started taking it's toll and I couldn't see my way through the piles of laundry and dirty dishes.  I couldn't begin to think about making an elegant meal for Sunday dinner.  I make pretty much all our meals from scratch and we have dinner together every night of the week, so we still had lots of family meals, just no Sunday dinner.  For a while, I thought, "We eat together ALL THE TIME.  I cook homemade meals for my family EVERY NIGHT OF THE WEEK.  Who cares about Sunday dinner?"

Turns out, I do.  It wasn't until we'd been skipping Sunday dinner for a while that I realized how much I missed it.   Sunday dinner IS special.  Or at least it can be.  Sunday dinner is a meal in which everyone can eat the same thing at the same time.  I don't have to worry about planning two meals a night because the little ones can't hold out long enough for the adults to get home from school and work.  On Sundays we can eat earlier and since we aren't all starving and cranky, we have time to really enjoy the food that we're eating and take time to talk to each other as we eat.  But I still wasn't ready to launch back into it again.  That's when my husband stepped in and said, "I want to cook Sunday dinner.  And if we can't make time on Sunday, I'll cook a meal on Saturday instead.  I will shop for this meal and prepare enough food that we'll have leftovers for at least one additional meal.  You are not to ask about it or volunteer to help in any way.  I haven't cooked much since I married you, but you know there was a time when I fed myself and other people in my family and we ate pretty well.  I am in charge.  Go grade some papers.  The girls and I are going to the store."  And then he left.

I didn't know what to make of this.  I was confused and I must admit, a little suspicious.  I didn't think this delightful idea would last long and frankly, I didn't want to get my hopes up.  Now, this is not to say that my husband isn't an exceedingly kind and helpful person.  He is.  But this was too good to be true.  He's been making Sunday dinner for a few weeks now, but it wasn't until this past Sunday that I realized that he was serious about his Sunday dinner project.  Low and behold, my husband had made pork roast with blackberry sauce for dinner.  He sheepishly admitted that this was the first pork roast he'd ever made and as we started eating he asked for suggestions to make it even better next time.  My only suggestion was "Keep cooking!"