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An ode to the dinner party

Every week, Miami Student staffers find joy in home-cooked food

For most college students, Sunday evenings mean the same thing: cramming a weekend's worth of homework assignments, textbook reading and exam preparation into one night. The reality was no different for me. But then one weekend, I really wanted tacos. And I wanted to make them myself.

So, that Sunday, I woke up earlier, dragged out my textbooks, opened up Canvas on my laptop and chipped away at the day's work so that, later that evening, I could spend my time in the kitchen instead of King.

Whether it's a soup smorgasbord, breakfast-for-dinner or a spread of Southern fare, since that first Sunday, every week I'm cooking or baking something that I never have before. Sometimes, as was the case with ratatouille (see recipe below), I have never even tasted the dish before attempting to recreate it in my kitchen.

There's something nostalgic about cramming people around my dining room table every week to share a meal. For me, it reminds me of the Sunday nights I spent at my grandmother's house packed elbow to elbow around the table with my aunts and uncles.

Those dinners would usually end with my older sister and I polka dancing to old records with our great-grandmother, and, though the dinners at my house in Oxford don't involve any Polish folk dancing (at least, not yet), I've found that I've subconsciously retained many of the Williams matriarchs' hosting habits: spending more time asking, "How's your food?" than actually eating it myself, ending the night with dessert and a fresh pot of coffee, sending friends home with leftovers (when there are any) in Tupperware containers or sharing long conversations with dinner party stragglers as we work through the piles of dirty dishes.

There's something essential about sharing about sharing food with one another, and for me those Sunday night dinners have become just that: essential. So, give it try. Get a head start on homework, grab your friends, head down to the grocery store and give the old-fashioned dinner party a try.

Our staff at The Miami Student has collected some recipes to help get you started.


Emily's Ratatouille

Sohngen Family's Whiskey Sours

Evans' Southern-Style Gravy

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