Mark at Irish Heather Long Table Series in Gastown, Vancouver B.C. Canada
Usually in western middle/upper class WASP-ey (blah blah blah) families Sunday was traditionally reserved for sit down family dinners. Sunday was the day that Grandma would come for dinner and birthdays were celebrated. There was almost always desert on Sundays if not on any other day. These things made Sundays special. Sure, Sunday dinner as a special day was probably a throwback to the whole Christian "day of rest" thing, but even if you weren't at all religious you still would have a Sunday family feast. We can be nostalgic thinking back to the occasional family dinner in front of the T.V. when Disney had their 6pm Sunday Night Special and the family would get to watch while we ate.
Mary Poppins all gave us something to say about family dinners! They were Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! But as we grew up and moved away from home and family, Sundays became less about the usual family gathering than they once were. You could watch Disney features anytime you wanted and eat only dessert if you wanted, skipping dinner all together. Families are now spread thinly, and many no longer uphold the old Christian traditions ideas anymore (except all those glorious Statutory Holidays), and everyone is too busy (busy busy) to make time for sharing meals.
As usual, when we've gone far away from something that used to be incredibly routine, there is a movement back towards it eventually. We can see that in the surge of Long Tables, Eating Clubs, and in/formal dinner groups that this tradition is coming back. Restaurants are bringing strangers together in the "social experiment" of eating together.
The long table at Salt in Blood Alley-Gastown, Vancouver B.C. Canada
In the spirit of eating together, it has been rumored that a particular restaurant in P.G. will be trying out the shared Sunday dinner concept a la Irish Heather. I'll let you know as soon as it's announced!
If you live in a place where this kind of thing isn't happening, start your own Sustain-a-table!
Summer Garden Salad
This one is easy, take a bowl out to the garden (or platers, or what have you) and start picking.
Anything goes here. Herbs, chives, pea shoots, greens...you get the idea. Share this salad with friends or make yourself a huge bowl to enjoy solo. After derby or a workout, it's a great way to have a light healthy meal and use up some garden greens.
The best way to make an awesome-sauce salad is to balance the flavours and put lots of stuff in there.
The three main flavours are 1)sweet, 2) salty, and 3) bitter. Choose at least one thing from each flavour and you'll have a great salad.
1)sweet things: berries, raisins, fruits, figs, salad dressing sweetened with syrup, honey
2) salty things: salted nuts/seeds, be careful! A little salt goes a long way, you could put a tiny bit of salt in the dressing.
3) bitter things: most greens are a little bitter, vinegar based dressing
Bowl full of garden pickings
Fruit of some kind (in-season berries are a great addition)
Nuts and/or Seeds
Grains &/or beans (use your homemade sprouts)
Cheese (if you dig on cheese)
Salad Dressing (see below for Maple Vinaigrette)
Nutritional Yeast (optional, but an easy way to get that tricky B vitamin)
3 part maple syrup
1 part Balsamic Vinegar