Prince Albert Voice
I often hear about the fabulous Sunday dinners my grandmother had. Any family still living within the vicinity of her home ended up going to her place for dinner. The dinner may vary but the welcome, good conversation and great food didn’t disappoint. My Grandmother and her family immigrated to Canada when she was ten years old. I am familiar with British cuisine. It’s not particularly spicy and garlic doesn’t seem to be used very much in traditional meals. In my own family, my Mother never used garlic since she reacted adversely to it. In my own meals, I use garlic and ensure it is well cooked, which seems to help as sometimes she doesn’t even know garlic has been used in the recipe.
Over the weekend, our family designated shopper left the house with a grocery list and two stops to make. Five hours later she returned home and was disgusted with how she hadn’t found the outing a simple, convenient or enjoyable one. She cited long lineups, crowded shopping areas and empty shelves as reasons why it had taken so long to complete her tasks. In addition, rather than only visiting the two stores she’d planned on, she’d ended up having to stop at four and still hadn’t been able to find everything on her list. Perhaps the weekend is the wrong time to shop and especially as more people are out and about in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season. There are things to buy, gifts to wrap, parcels to mail, food to make and celebrations to be had all within the confines of restrictions deterring the spread of COVID 19.
We’ve had our first snowfall of the season and it’s not even officially the first day of winter yet, but… I may not survive winter! I don’t mean that in a literal sense – or do I? The first shoveling experience of the season didn’t bode well for me when I discovered so much snow had accumulated in such a short period of time, I couldn’t open the back door much less step out onto the deck to shovel. I figured I’d give it some time to let the wind blow the snow away. Big mistake. Huge! The wind did blow the snow… onto the deck and against the door so opening it was impossible. Eventually access was granted but it took a lot of struggle and creative thinking to accomplish it.
Growing up, we spent a lot of time with extended family on the weekends. So I grew up believing family was important. On Saturday, after the auction sale, we’d go to my Uncle Lambert’s place. He was my Dad’s eldest brother, and many of his nine children were similar in age to my elder four siblings. My younger sister and I were able to hang out together, except for those rare occasions where the elder children were forced to include us… and we were so young we were a drag for all of those teenagers. It was still fun. Sunday morning, after enjoying a spiritual feast, we would go out to lunch – usually Venice House on Central Avenue, and then we’d congregate at Uncle Lambert’s for the rest of the day, leaving after Walt Disney was over. It always amazed me how my Aunt Frances was able to feed all of us from one pot and no one left hungry. And as her children grew and married, the dynamics of our extended family changed but our family gatherings around food continued, even as the food selection changed.