Sunday lunch

No matter how late a night Saturday was and the strength of the hangover as a result, you’ll be expected to join any brothers or sisters you might have; perhaps their significant others and kids if they exist; along with parents and surviving grandparents; for a Sunday lunch.

Traditionally, this takes place at a home, but sometimes it can be at a restaurant.  And if you’re thinking about skipping it and lying in bed? Don’t, because there is no excuse for not attending.

Sick? Poor baby, there’s nothing like mama’s home cooking to make you feel better. Tired? Take a siesta in your old room after. Stressed? Forget about it for a while and eat some good food. Busy? Doing what? There’s nothing open on Sundays and Mass has passed, not that today’s generation goes to church. Too hungover “después de una fiesta”? So are your father and grandfather. They didn’t get home until 4:00am.

There is no one dish that defines a mother’s Sunday lunch. The ten most typical foods according to one Spanish newspaper are:

    1. Fideua
    2. Calamares, chipirones
    3. Pescado al horno
    4. Migas
    5. Gambas, cigalas

The culinary rule of thumb in Spain is to plan the weekly dinners with Sunday lunch in mind. Las sobras (leftovers) from these meals are then turned into a stew, soup, pasta. Much depends on the gastronomy of the region. Wine or beer offers “the hair of the dog” cure for any Saturday excess as the hearty food sops up the alcoho.
Conversations about you, life, the weather and politics, continue into dessert, then un café that marks la sobremesa. The word has no translation in English. It’s the time after the meal when you sit around the table, still talking to each other as the food digests, before slipping away for a siesta.