by Jeffrey Redding
There’s no day I love to be home more than Sundays. My mom’s homemade tomato gravy is the best there is. I wake up about 10:30 every Sunday to the zesty aroma of the gravy cooking on low as the steam eludes the kitchen, travels slowly up the stairs and into my bedroom. Mixed with the smell of gravy is the musical talent of Frank Sinatra being played throughout the house. I throw on shorts to go downstairs, where you will see my mom adding the meatballs, sausage, ribs, and steak to the gravy for more flavor and food to eat. This has been a Sunday ritual since my great-grandfather and his family moved to America from Italy and he was a kid like me with his mom always making the gravy.
Dinner usually isn’t ready until about 2:30 p.m., so the amazing smell torments my brother, father, and me until it is time to eat. I always get dressed to go out before the food is ready because my mom always asks me to go to Luberto’s bakery and pick up a fresh loaf of Italian bread, which may be the greatest bread in the world when it’s fresh and dipped into the pot of gravy. When I get home with the bread, we all sit at the dinner table set by my mom who always makes it look like one of DaVinci’s paintings. On the table are four plates, four forks, four knives, four glasses, four napkins, the loaf of bread, a bowl of black olives, a jug of water for me, my mom’s Pellegrino water, a bottle of Snapple for my brother, the jug of milk for my dad, a platter full of gravy and meat, and the grated cheese. The food is so good that every bite is like a bite of heaven.
My dog also loves Sundays because she knows my mom will feed her the leftover meatballs; little does she know I’m sneaking her bites under the table. I can never go without seconds when my mom cooks the gravy, whether it’s more pasta or gravy. When everyone is finished, we clean up the kitchen together to make it easier on my mom after she has spent all morning preparing us such a great meal. My mom and dad clean the table and wash the dishes as my brother and I take out the garbage, sweep, and clean the countertops. Once we are finished cleaning, we all go our separate ways until we become a family again on Sunday and eat the greatest delicacy ever made: my mom’s gravy.