Sunday Suppers: A season past?

in Silver Bloggers28 days ago (edited)

Around May 2017, around the time, my regular blogs became increasingly sparse, as one chapter in my life ended, and others began. One of these new chapters was Sunday Suppers @ The Sandbag House.

Two years later we were still doing it. Menus went out weekly to a WhatsApp group and via various social media and e-news channels in the village. The menu for the second anniversary supper, was the same, except for the soup. The third anniversary, courtesy of the pandemic, didn't happen. We haven't done a Sunday Supper, or planned a menu in over a year.

At around the time that we marked the first anniversary of Sunday Suppers, we implemented a suggestion from regular diners, and started a book in which they could leave notes. It's also an interesting and easy way to keep track - mostly of the countries from which our village visitors came. In the those years, we hosted folk from England, Ireland and Scotland; Sweden, Denmark and Germany; Spain, Italy and India. We welcomed old friends - from far and near - and made new. I was surprised by university friends, neither of whom I'd seen since those days, who came to McGregor - especially for Sunday Supper. That was a trifle nerve racking, I confess. Then they recommended to friends, Sunday Supper @ The Sandbag House. And the friends came.

The lovely notes that folk leave are a delight and add to my general enjoyment of cooking and feeding people

Not long into the journey, friend and photographer, Selma decided that she wanted to document (her word), a Sunday Supper @ The Sandbag House. Her photographs are infinitely better than I could have wished. We did have great fun and, I have forgiven her:

I don't want to be in front of the camera, I whined.

You won't be, she assured me, batting her blue eyes at me, smiling broadly.


She lied

All photos in this collage and the header image: Selma

I learned

I learned great deal from Suppers @ The Sandbag House. Not least that we could do it, and I learned that I could/can do things I never thought I could. Don't get me wrong, I have most definitely not morphed from being a home cook into a chef, but there is truth in the old adage, practise makes perfect.

At the beginning, not only do I like doing pretty tables, but I figured that if the tables were pretty enough, people would forgive the food.

Bottom left and top right photos: Selma

Like wine and cheese do, I improved over time

Perfection has not been realised, but there was most certainly a significant improvement in things like desserts - never my forté - and how they are presented. I discovered that I can bake and make mousse.

The other thing I learned, was how to better manage portions and plating. I went from slopping things about (or over diners - which nearly happened when we had a group of 10!), and serving vegetables ( that don't get eaten) in side dishes (and wasted), to plating entire courses.

And now

As I said, thanks to the pandemic, Sunday Suppers came to an abrupt halt. Now, and ironically last Sunday morning, I had a WhatsApp message:

I know it's late, but can I book supper for three....
Politely, I recommended another establishment. Which brings me to the next point: we started Sunday Suppers because there was no spot in the village where folk could get supper on Sunday evenings. Now there is. At least one spot. And we cannot do walk-ins. And with Covid, and even vaccinated, would we be putting ourselves and our guests at risk?


I originally wrote this two years into Sunday Suppers and the original post went the way of many others. I was going to simply re-post as is was. Then that Sunday morning message and a subsequent conversation made me think and wonder. Whether we'll do Sunday Suppers is a question we're now also asking. I guess, well have to answer the question. Properly. Right now, the answer is:
I don't know.

PS This is also my ineligible entry to the current edition of the Blog of the Week initiative. The deadline is today and you will find out more here.

Until next time, be well
The Sandbag House
McGregor, South Africa

Photo: Selma
Post script
If this post might seem familiar, it's because I'm doing two things:

  • re-vamping old recipes. As I do this, I am adding them in a file format that you can download and print. If you download recipes, buy me a coffee. Or better yet, a glass of wine....?
  • and "re-capturing" nearly two years' worth of posts.
I blog to the Hive blockchain using a number of decentralised applications.
    • From Wordpress, I use the Exxp Wordpress plugin. If this rocks your socks, click here or on on the image below to sign up.

    • Join Hive using this link and then join us in the Silver Bloggers' community by clicking on the logo.

Original artwork: @artywink
    • I also share my occasional Instagram posts to the crypto blockchain using the new, and really nifty phone app, Dapplr. On your phone, click here or on the icon, and give it a go.

Posted from my blog with Exxp :

Edited using Dapplr


Oh my, the food looked sooo delish....! The fond memories will always be there for as long as we live and they will still ignite good vibes for all the lovely times spent.

 28 days ago  

The food looks delicious and it's a very good idea to get all your customer's feedback. I loved the tittle photo, did you create it using Canva?

I did, yes. It's a great tool.

 28 days ago  

Bittersweet memories Fiona!
Being a sentimental fool, your blog brought a few tears to my eyes, I can just imagine how wonderful those evenings used to be; starting a comment book was a brilliant idea, how very precious to look back to that!
Our bnb comment book had to be removed, something we had to do once Covid came along and we were allowed to open up again.
It was such an awesome way to remember the people who came from near and some from far across the seas!
Nowadays we only have South African guests and online reviews, I should start taking screenshots of those and paste it into our comment book.
I can understand your dilemma as sitting around the dinner table is too close, so what to do???
Perhaps in summertime you could consider having outdoors event where there's natural ventilation; you don't have a summer rainfall so this could work?
A lovely #bow response Fiona!

Ag, you know, Lizelle, sometimes those evenings - because they were actually days, too, with the prep, were really hard. Exhausting and sometimes a little stressful! By and large, though I did enjoy them and the prep.

I have said that, if there are folk that want a Sunday Supper experience, we'll consider it. There will have to be a minimum (and maximum) number and I might also reserve the right to ask if they're vaccinated. Perhaps once the Vax passport issue is resolved...

Outside dining is difficult to guarantee: we often get wind. Believe it or not. The best evenings, potentially, for al fresco dining is late January to about mid-April. From experience, I do know that I always have to have a plan B up my sleeve!

 28 days ago  

Lovely #Bow post @fionasfavourites ,corona v has messed up a lot of venues I'm afraid. What awesome memories you have, the wholesome food on a sunday night must have been so satisfying for your guest. Thank you for sharing.

Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by!

Your Sunday supper dining, is it something you'd consider reopening in the nearest future?

As I say in the post: I honestly don't know. It will depend on our personal circumstances and whether there's a need for the service in the village. We shall see.

Lovely memories, great story telling... The risk of covid is worth the good feeling of sunday supper?

No, it wasn't when the restrictions were first lifted and before the vaccination roll out. Now, it's a combination of factors that will influence whatever decision we make. If we make one. Hahaha!

You should, you need to relax a bit and have a great supper, so we all...

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