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Sunday, March 3, 2013

our sundays travel with us + a recipe

Over the last few years, as we have traveled, one of the most memorable things we have done is not necessarily the sites we visited and explored, but what we brought with us. 

Our Sundays.

By bringing some of the elements that make up our typical Sunday, we are able to maintain a sense of familial rhythm that is cherished by us and particularly important for young children when far out of their element. 

When away from home there seems to be a little more of everything: fun food, TV, stimulation, shopping, and adventure. It is so useful to have a scheduled day of less.

An ideal Sunday for us includes a long leisurely morning with really good coffee, a substantial breakfast, a fat newspaper and sometimes some PBS cartoons (so the adults can read that fat newspaper).

In the early afternoon we need a long walk, either into town to see some art or in the country to connect with nature. 

And the evening meal is my favorite. A very simple yet completely satisfying roast chicken and vegetables, with a huge salad, and some wine fills our stomachs and hearts. (We use the chicken to make stock to use through out the week too).

When travelling, maybe especially when travelling, we seek to create the same atmosphere that allows for calm and reflection at home. Breaking bread as a family is one of the ways that we sustain and fortify ourselves when we are on the road.

When in Paris with our very young children, we loved our Sunday suppers of rotisserie chicken from a street vendor, complete with the little potatoes and olives that sat under the chicken roasting all day. Paired with a salad, baguette, and a pastry carefully chosen by the children, we were in heaven, and yet felt completely at home.

Last fall in NYC, we had one of the best Sundays yet. We spent the morning walking through Central Park, collecting leaves and acorns so different from the ones at home. We checked out a local street market and bought goodies for dinner. The afternoon was spent at the Natural History museum looking at the haunting dioramas of nature captured, imagined and preserved. Tired but happy, we wandered back to our rental apartment for our Sunday supper of roast chicken. Adventure and comfort all together. 

Whether at home or on the road, the simple Sunday supper that we have made our own, connects us to each other and the traditions we are building as a family. It is fun to watch each kid jockey for whatever is the favorite piece du jour (it was legs, now it is breasts and skin), negotiate who gets the wish bone and smell the familiar smell of crock pot stock each Monday morning, no matter where we are.

Roast Chicken

1 happy chicken (free range, organic if possible)
lemon, butter, salt, pepper, tarragon

Make sure to remove the organ meat from the cavity, give the chicken a quick rinse with water and pat dry with a paper towel.

Squirt the outside with a lemon and then put the rind into the cavity. Rub the chicken all over with a few tablespoons of softened butter (you can also use olive oil), and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put a bunch of tarragon in the cavity (or under the skin). 

We usually cook ours in a 425 degree preheated oven for about an hour. It depends on the size of the bird. In the summer when it is scorching hot, we cook our chicken on a rotisserie outside. 

You can experiment with whatever you have knocking around your kitchen. Sometimes, I put lemon slices under the skin, or garlic cloves in the cavity. There are no rules and it is fun to develop a favorite "house" recipe for your family.


  1. This is lovely, Amy. I love how you hold on to your Sunday tradition, even when you're traveling. (I always lose track of what day it is while on vacation!)

    We traveled to France with our two oldest when they were 8 and 4. Our best memories are of the dinners we cooked in our rented apartments. Our kids' favorite was roasted potatoes, green beans, tomatoes and aioli, and goat cheese with baguette. You know those are the best moments of the trip when you still remember the meals almost thirteen years later. And the kids do too!

  2. What a fabulous concept, especially for longer travels! I love packing in adventures, but a slow walk and coffee in a local cafe is a great way to experience somewhere new. Happy travels.


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