21 February 2018

The Joy of Sunday

When I was little Sundays were much the same every week: church in the morning, then the six of us gathering round the dining room table for a roast, followed by my mum's apple crumble or magic chocolate pudding. Once lunch had settled it was quiet time for an hour with our 20p mix-up sweets while my parents read the newspaper. My brother, sisters and I twiddled our thumbs, waiting for play-time to resume. Not that there was ever much play on a Sunday, anyway. Sometimes we'd go to the beach for a walk, but usually it was Songs of Praise and a slow evening with eggy bread for tea, a bath and watching Ballykissangel on the telly. Sundays used to be very... Sunday. But despite their monotony, Sundays were always comfortable and focused heavily on food, which can only be a good thing.

Before you get married and have children you have your twenties – a period of time I never anticipated until I was in the middle of it. Now, at 25, my friends are my family and these Sundays are the best ones I've had since I was six, sitting cross-legged in the fire-lit living room with a glass of milk and a biscuit while my sister plaited my hair.

There is something different about every Sunday now, but my favourites are those spent with my closest friends, catching up on each other's weeks and what we hope for the next one over baked goods.

Last Sunday's spread – brown butter banana muffins, chocolate chip cookies and blackberry and plum crumble cake – was enough to stir up all the memories of Sundays past. Balancing moments of reflection and being present helps me to be thankful for everything I have right here, right now.

Sunday food is indulgent and filling, particularly in winter but other seasons enjoy the abundance of it, too. While we warm up with cups of coffee and tea in February, ice cold glasses of milk and iced tea keep us cool in June. Baked goods work all year round, and so does great company. How do you like to spend your Sundays?

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