Chapter 1: We Refuse to Cancel Family Sunday Dinner but…….
… we needed to come up with another idea, for outside of vacations, Sunday night dinners at the Vitberg house have been a dependable, staple of life for well over 30 years. We’re weren’t going to let a nasty virus bring that streak to an end.
Our idea: a virtual family Sunday dinner, where we would all eat the same thing, at the same time, and do a Zoom video conference to share the night. Side bar: a big shout out to ZOOM , a worldwide leader in vidoconferencing, for their free service and for playing a HUGE role in the “new normal”.
Looking for a great read while you’re in quarantine or lockdown?
Chapter 2: Mom and Dad Make the Meal (as usual)
Rather than a hodge podge of food, we decided to keep the sharing a meal tradition alive by preparing dinner in our kitchen, and oh what a meal it was!
A 23 pound turkey smoked on the Weber, grilled peppers, baked potatos, and Janice’s world famous chicken matzoh ball soup … oy vey, it was good!! Sarah and Shannon did their own veggies. We pacakged up some homemade cookies for desert.
One word about smoked turky on the grill. Best ever. Ok, so that was two words, but I gotta tell ya, I’ve been smoking 3 to 4 turkeys a year for about forty years … that’s around 140 turkeys. I got this down, pat. Sounds kinda weird, like I have this gigantic bong with a huge bowl, sized to hold an entire turkey that we pass around, but that’s simply not true.
Janice buys the turkeys around Thanksgiving when they’re something like seven cents a pound and we stick them in the freezer. If you want the recipe, use the connect form, below and I’ll send it to you. BTW, accoring to the Coronavirus Task Force, it’s a scientifcally proven fact that eating a smoked turky sandwich while reading The King of Kreskin Avenue is quite enjoyable, but regretably, has nothing to do with stopping the spread of Covid-19.
So, in a word, enjoy!
Chapter 3: The Meal is Bagged and Tagged
We carefully constructed a Virtual Sunday Family Dinner packaging / Covid-19 free transpotation system, carefully dousing its exterior and interior with disenfectant before placing and arranging the food. It took nearly 2,000 feet of tin foil and another 8,000 feet of plastic cling wrap to hermetically seal each individual piece of the dinner’s bounty. We washed and sanitized our hands, put on latex gloves and heave ho, heave ho, into the trasportation system the meal did go.
Chapter 4: The Meal is Shipped
We packed our car and took off at 4 pm, in order to make a 5:30 dinner start. Although it may seem haphazard, we followed CDC food packing guidelines for car backseats to ensure a minimally safe distance between slices of smoked turkey.
We had stops to make, and a protocol that required us to beep our horn three times upon arrival, place the bagged food at the curb, and wave through the windshield as a designated family member navigated the retrieval.
I was quite surprised to see that a convoy of National Guard trucks and personnel were following us to each destination, and then, in full hazard suits, delivering more boxes of food to my children and their families. It turns out that Janice raided our freezer and food stores to make sure they had food. Another $300 grocery bill appeared to be a certainty.
I will admit that I was extremly disspointed to open up the deep freezer and see what seemed like 500 pounds of neatly wrapped and stacked packages of rutabega. I had assumed that this nasty, foul, smells-and-tastes-like-ass spawn of the devil would be the first to go out the door to feed our children and their families.
I hate rutabega. It’s little wonder why some of those frozen bricks ‘o rutabega have been languishing in the freezer since 1997.
Chapter 5: Bon Apetite. Now We May Eat.
5:30. Time for dinner to begin. We fired up Zoom and connected with no trouble, and after fumbling around with placement of the camera, and getting Sarah to stop goofing around with effects, got decent pictures.
Hazel, the four year old, started us out as she starts out every Sunday family dinner with a request for us to join hands, shake them up and down, and say “A moment of silence everyone. Bon apetite. Now we may eat.”
Outside of being together digitally it was pretty much a typical Sunday night dinner. Hazel got restless, grouchy and needed a short time out. Pearl, 6 years old, needed to be begged to eat her veggies, although she stuffed turkey into her mouth at an astounding rate of speed. Mothers Sharah and Shannon, as usual, used the incentive (bribe? threat?) of desert – fresh homemade lemon drop cookies – to encouge a clean plate. Baby Lucy sucked contentedly on a pacifer while her Mom’s heightened poopy diaper-olfactory sense stood guard. Brandon, Clay and I said little, ate a lot.
Well deserved, Janice beamed throughout the meal and took the family’s compliments as she has done for every Sunday family dinner.
So, screw you Covid-19.
We’re coming up with new normals for our daily liives. We’re self-defending, planning for the worst, and hoping for the best. We’re learning new behaviors. We’re changing, adopting and adapting.
Except for eating rutabega. Yuck.
Wouldn’t it be ironic if rutabega was both the cure and a vaccine for Covid-19?
Then, I’d be screwed.