Slow Sundays. . . on Friday Night

by Laura on October 3, 2010

in Traditions

A few months back we decided to get some of our friends together to start what we called Slow Sundays. It would be a time for friends to get together and enjoy a lazy afternoon together, let the kids run around, and allow the adults to catch up on the week’s events, Of course, there would be great food involved.

We were slow to get together. Vacations, ball games and summer camps kept us from getting together. Summer turned into fall, and we still had yet to get together, until last weekend.

It was an impromptu decision, but one that was quickly agreed upon. As always, weekends are busy for us, so we thought a Friday evening would allow us to get together with friends, and give us the opportunity to spend time together as a family during the weekend, run all those errands we didn’t get done during the week, AND relax! Our first Slow Sundays (on Friday night) would welcome two families, adding four kids and three adults to mix. (We were minus one Dad who was be out of town;-(

With our guests confirmed, we all jumped into planning mode. For our first Slow Sunday gathering, I decided I wouldn’t ask for anyone to bring anything, just to come ready to enjoy a relaxing evening after a busy week. It would be a bit more formal than my Slow Sundays gathering, but it was Friday night, and we’d all be in search of a good meal and the opportunity to wind down from the craziness of the week.

Since summer weather finally arrived in the last week of September, we decided that it would be ideal to enjoy the outdoors.

The kids could run around out back, and we adults could keep an eye on them from the patio – close enough for supervision, yet far enough away that we could get through a sentence or two without interruption.

We set our planning into motion. I perused my cookbooks for my favorite recipes, looking for something that would offer great taste, but wouldn’t require my presence in the kitchen during the party. I, too, wanted to relax!

If we were eating outside, why not cook outside? The inspiration: South America. We had pork empanadas and fried sweet potatoes for appetizers, followed by skirt steak on the grill with chimichurri sauce, roasted corn and mashed plantains for dinner. Dessert would be apple bunuelos, little fried apple balls made with fruit from our own tree.

As for the kids, I didn’t want to fall into the give-them-something-we-know-they’ll eat trap (i.e. pasta, pizza, burgers). They too would be part of the South American theme – a meal that would incorporate a familiar taste, prepared in a bit different manner. Roasted chicken, with the roasted corn on the cob, and the mashed plantains would be it. Or, so I thought.

Just hearing the words, “We’re having a party,” set my kids into a frenzy. They immediately jumped into party-planning mode. They talked about decorations, what they could play with friends, and of course, what they would eat.

They took it upon themselves to discuss what they could eat.

Would it be rigatoni, lasagna, or tacos! “Yes,” they all chimed in, when Nicole mentioned tacos. It was at that time, I realized that it was important for them to help plan the food as well. After all, there were more kids than adults at this party. (And, I didn’t’ want a mutiny at the table when a meal they wouldn’t eat was placed before them).

Now that the kids were involved in planning the menu, they were even more excited than ever. In addition to the empanadas, they suggested fruit skewers for the kids as an appetizer, along with vanilla ice cream and candy cherries for dessert.

As the week progressed, the excitement grew. They helped make the empanadas, created place cards for everyone and drew up a menu so their friends would see what they were enjoying – although only Grayson was old enough to ‘officially’ read it!

Friends arrived, drinks were poured, food was set on the table, and a great time as had by all. As the sun set, we gathered all the flashlights in the house and let the kids enjoy a bit of flashlight tag before heading home for bedtime.

Our Slow Sundays kick-off party was a success! Not only did everyone enjoy themselves, but it was a way to jump-start our next gathering. Yes, Autumn is a busy time for us as well, but now that we’ve held our first Slow Sunday’s gathering, we’re excited about carving out some time for our next get-together.

Whether it is a picnic in the park, a hike along the river, an afternoon picking apples at the local farm, take the time to join together with friends, slow down, enjoy the company complemented by a great meal.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Previous post:

Next post: