“Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week.”

The sky is light blue and cloudless. The sun is eye squinting bright. A slight breeze stirs the air. Everything is quiet. Today is a lovely day.

When I was a kid, Sunday was sacrosanct. The churches were filled. Everyone was dressed in church clothes. Women wore skirts or dresses and hats. Men wore suits, white shirts and ties. The stores were all closed except for small, corner stores which sold essentials like milk and bread and the Sunday paper. Sunday was family day. It was Sunday dinner day, the most formal meal of the week.

My grandmother, my father’s mother, was a terrible cook. She cooked bland food. Spaghetti sauce was a can of stewed tomatoes poured right out of the can on to the pasta. My father’s bland palate reflected his mother’s lack of cooking expertise. To him, garlic belonged only on garlic bread and shrimp scampi, nothing else. Asparagus came from a can and bent at the middle. Hummus was wallpaper paste, a review gleaned from looking at it, not tasting it, as he judged food by looks. For him, the simpler the food the better. Give him roast beef, mashed potatoes and maybe corn, niblet not creamed, and he’d be in food heaven.

In Ghana, on Sunday, my students attended a service on school grounds, in the cafeteria. For it, they wore their Sunday school cloths: three piece dresses, a top, bottom to the ankles and a wraparound the waist piece. Each of the four classes had its own cloth pattern. Sunday was also visitors’ day. Students would wear their own dresses. Photographers came and took pictures. It was also the day Bill, Peg and I bought dinner from a chop bar by the lorry park. Translation: a small shed like spot with maybe a table or two and a few chairs which was at the parking lot where all the busses waited for riders before they left for other places. The food was cooked out back. Mostly we bought fufu and soup. Translation: the slightly sour, spongy dough made from boiled and pounded starchy food crops like plantains, cassava and yams — or a combination of two or more — in a very large mortar with a pestle. The soup was whatever was on the stove: light soup (nkrakra), groundnut soup (nkate nkwan), palm nut soup (abenkwan), green vegetable soup (abun abun), egusi soup and more. I was an okra stew fan. Fufu was eaten with your right hand. Your hand got a bit messy.

Today, I’ll probably have hot dogs. I took a pack out of the freezer. I figure I’m not violating New England cultural norms by eating hot dogs on a Sunday. I didn’t have any last night.

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4 Comments on ““Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    Today the sky is a clear bright blue color and the predicted high temperature is a normal 99°. Our friends on the Republican side still deny that global warming is real and is caused by us burning fossil fuels. Sadly, the earth doesn’t care what any of us think, and the heat goes on. Phoenix Arizona has had a record number of days above 110°F, that’s 43.33°C.

    Both of my grandparents came from Eastern Europe and brought with them their version of bland cuisine. Additionally, my grandparents kept kosher, which required that meat had to be soaked and salted before cooking to remove all of the blood, which also removed all of the flavor. 🙂 They never grilled meat but usually stewed it to death. Chicken always wound up in a pot and was turned into soup. 🙂

    My mother was a better cook because she didn’t kosher the meat, but she still cooked with very bland American flavors. My mother considered paprika a spice. 🙂 She did use garlic as did my grandmothers.

    I don’t like very spicy food to this day. I don’t like the taste of jalapeño pepper for example. My wife and kids eat much spicier food than I eat. We always have bottles various kinds of hot sauce on the table to heat up the spice to each one’s taste. I’m addicted to sweet flavors instead of spicy ones. Don’t even mention Indian food. I can’t stand the aroma of curry. I also don’t like food from Thailand for the same reason, and I always order Cantonese Chinese dishes. Hold the red peppers please.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      I’m just hoping global warming causes tsunami type waves on the coast of Florida. Maybe that will make people reconsider global warming.

      My grandmother’s parents were German, but I don’t know if they cooked German food because my grandmother never did. My mother was a good cook who enlarged her menus as we got older and we were more willing to try different foods. She’ still serve my father his usual.

      I like hot foods, but the hot food in Ghana was so hot, it burned around my mouth. Stuffed jalapeños are a favorite appetizer of mine.

      Curry is a only small part of Indian cuisine. There is so much more to it. I know of only two Thai dishes which have curry. I love Thai food and treat myself periodically to it. I haven’t ever ordered curry. One of my appetizers is always coconut shrimp which I munch on all the way home.

      • Bob Says:

        Unfortunately, not only does very spicy food burn your lips, but also it burns on the way out. 🙁

        I have tried other Indian dishes but there is some flavors that is in their food that I don’t like. Once on a flight to Hing Kong on Cathay Pacific Airlines there were many passengers going from San Francisco to India. They all ordered special Indian meals which they opens simultaneously. The aroma nearly made be regurgitate.

        I ate Thai food once and wasn’t thrilled. It didn’t have any curry in the dishes I tried.

      • katry Says:

        I’m thinking you didn’t know what Thai food to order. Appetizers are always the best bet when you’re trying Asian food. Pa Thai is another dish I always order. I do think Indian food is different enough not everyone will like it. I first had it in Ghana, and I loved it. None of it was curry.

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