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Grandma had a sixth sense for dinner parties: she knew exactly when you were ready to eat, what type of juice you wanted to drink, and which dessert you would love. But the best part of Sunday Dinner was watching her cook. She made every dish from scratch! Flour, oil and eggs would transform into strands of spaghetti before our very eyes. She would melt pieces of chocolate and put them in the fridge to harden into rose pedals that decorated her coconut-flaked cakes.

As she cooked, my uncle and aunts transformed her patio room into a maze of tables and chairs. Soon, my generation was called to action. We hauled mismatched tablecloths, napkins, and utensils like a small army of mini waiters-in-training. Someone would fill jugs of water and – more importantly – homemade juice. Then everyone beelined near the stove where grandma would deal out hefty portions of whatever she’d felt like making.

It’s been many years since those lovely Sunday Dinners. Grandma is long gone and it’s hard to get everyone together. But you could say making homemade food still runs in the family. Not a month goes by before a sibling, cousin, aunt, or uncle drops by with their latest concoction: a chocolate-crusted lemon tart, apple bread, cheese muffins, or whatever they felt like making.

Practice

  • Describe a family meal. Who cooked and what did they make? Was it a one time event or did it happen often?
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