Sunday, June 3, 2018

Sunday Dinner

Sunday dinner has to be one of life's undisputed treasures. If the week's end is allowed to slip by without the plan for Sunday evening dinner it is guaranteed that nothing but remorse will attend - the consuming prospect of returning to work and habit on Monday morning. Even knowing this peril, I seldom put into motion what I professed to appreciate, apparently preferring instead to languish in the dread of the future.  It requires a degree of bravery and commitment to rise above the threat of life's realities - a contamination to which I mechanically succumbed by force of my Protestant Work Ethic. But whenever I was treated to a Sunday evening dinner it was an unsurpassed pleasure. The introduction goes back many years when I was in school and would regularly be treated by parents of fellow students to a home-cooked meal or a visit to the local golf club - often with the benefit of a beer or a glass of sherry.  While the menu has of necessity shifted from what was in those days standard fare (roast beef, mashed potatoes and Trifle for dessert), what remains is the more important ingredient - namely, socializing.

Within our own domestic enclave this evening we enjoyed a stellar Sunday dinner. It was happily preceded by mouthwatering aromas from the oven (where basked the fowl laden with the most delicious tarragon herb).  The supporting characters (exotic mashed potatoes and Caesar salad) deftly succeeded to promote the accustomed groans of satisfaction.  And did I mention the banana cake with Nutella icing and gelato?

But as I say the requisite prelude to such a comfortable dining experience is always an equally full-bodied social convention.  We two had sufficiently exhausted our own joint reflections by having cycled together early this morning along Country Street, Rae Road and the 8th Line for about 10 kms; then having pursued some mundane shopping expeditions at Mark's Work Wear and the local grocery store. It was therefore an unexpected thrill to hear from a old friend in Nova Scotia. The latter part of the the afternoon was spent swapping emails and tit-bits of historical information with one another. Among our exchanges was a photograph of the renovated deck of my friend's former cottage (where what seems like centuries ago we all cavorted as young people are inclined to do).

This visceral delight had been echoed throughout the early afternoon when I drove aimlessly about the countryside with the accompaniment of Mozart. I had momentarily attempted to enliven the music by tuning to stations playing American Standards. But the persuasion of Sunday afternoon (and its traditional alliance with choral music) swung me back to Mozart. Then serendipitously I received an email communication from a friend in the South Pacific in which he recounted his recent visit to see a Mozart ballet!

I rounded out the day by chatting with my sister about familial matters. This exchange had been preceded by a yarn with a friend. The thread of conviviality had effectively insinuated the entire day. Crowning the proceedings was the Sunday dinner which has rewarded the prior attention and soothed the soul with gratifying nourishment.

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