We lived in New York until I was ten, and my father's parents lived on a small farm in upstate New York, so every week we went for Sunday dinner.
Nana got up every Sunday at 5 am and put dinner on- didn't matter if it was a roast, a turkey, a chicken, pork chops or what have you, the meat went into the oven at 5 am. Yes, we ate a lot of dried out meat. Since mom was also not the worlds best cook, the only way I knew what meat *could* taste like was from my gramma and from eating out.
What nana lacked in meat prep skills she made up for in canning and preserving and she made some amazing desserts, scrumptious jellies and the most wonderful veggies. Pies were always a favorite, berry being my personal top choice. We kids (my brother and sister and I along with our cousins- dad had 2 sisters and all the families got together on Sundays) would pick berries and grapes. Picking fruits along with the brown eyed susans I gathered for my gramma since she favored them were probably my favorite thing to do there.
The one dish in particular I remember was a yellow wax bean soup- it was some white creamy sauce and bacon- I would love a recipe for this if anyone has one.
They had a porch that had a creaky old glider we loved to sit on, and a huge area for running and playing. The dog was on a run on the laundry line and sometimes we older kids would hook the younger kids to his leash and make them run.
Grandpa Grewe was most often in his workshop or tending his gardens- he was a very quiet man and I only remember him in the house at dinnertime or sitting in front of the tv with my dad and the uncles, probably watching a ballgame.
Nana and the aunts loved to gossip. Not the friendly sort of neighborly talk, but mean-spirited we have the dirt gossip so mom kind of hovered and kept quiet. (Nana actually got threatened with libel- which I found out as an adult- this is the type of person she was and why I wasn't overly thrilled to spend a lot of time there.)
There are a lot of good memories, but suffice it to say I was not their favorite grandchild and it wasn't my favorite place to be, so being an enterprising child I had a brilliant idea.
When I was about 6 I believe, I had it in my head that if I was not home before it was time to leave, I would not have to go because you were at the table at 1 sharp no excuses, so I got on my bike and took off. (I was a kid, of course mom would never have left me, but that was my thinking at the time.)
When I was flying to my freedom down a hill, a car ran me off the road- and I was right along the curb, there was plenty of room and the car swerved towards me, apparently intentionally, and I fell (and the idiot took off- nice, huh?)
Some kind neighbor helped me up and made sure I was okay to walk my bike home, which I did and though I didn't get in trouble (because they had no idea I was going to stay out til after 1) dad said I was faking about my arm being sore and that I just wanted to stay home and have mom baby me or go to the hospital to get attention- which I HATE people around me when I am sick and hurting, but whatever- so we piled into the car and went. After a couple of hours of toughing it out - you NEVER cried in front of my father and his family- you just didn't - it would be seen as a weakness and used against you- everyone noticed I was very quiet, very pale and my arm was totally blue and swollen. Then dad told mom maybe I wasn't faking after all and she took me to the ER- my arm was fractured and I had to get the swelling down then get a cast on at the drs office the next day or so.
Did you have big family meals or family gatherings when you were a child? Do you have them now? We'd love to hear about them, after all, our memories are part of what make us who we are today.