Pretty much every Sunday, from my earliest memories up until I left home for college in 1993, my family went to church, came home and changed clothes, and then went next door to my grandmother’s house. She always made roast beef for lunch on Sunday. And, in addition, she always made about fifty sides to go with the roast beef. There were mashed potatoes, rolls, either a half a canned pear or a slice of pineapple, vegetables, and more that I’m probably forgetting. Every Sunday was a celebration.
At one point in my youth I foolishly decided I didn’t like mashed potatoes, so my grandmother would set a potato aside for me, and I would have a plain, boiled, non-mashed potato. Even when I started liking mashed potatoes again, I didn’t say anything, because I enjoyed having my own personal potato.
I especially enjoyed drenching the roast beef in Worcestershire sauce, and the potato—a boiled potato doesn’t have a lot of flavor on its own, but douse it in Worcestershire sauce, and it’s a delight. And then you can use a roll or two to sop up the extra sauce on your plate.
After lunch my sister and I would play. Sometimes I would nap. In the evening, either I would still be there, at my grandmother’s house, or we would return. We had left-overs for dinner. Roast beef sandwiches, with potato chips and pickles and whatever else we found in my grandmother’s cabinets. Her cabinets were always well stocked.
I miss that Sunday meal; I miss my grandmother.