My mom has always been a great cook and Sunday was my favorite day to eat. You may think that I’m talking about the delicious roast beef, venison, or chicken that we had every Sunday for the noon meal, but Sunday night suppers were even better. After the dinner dishes were washed, Mom would tell us it was her afternoon off and she was done cooking until Monday. Despite the heavier meal of meat and potatoes of Sunday dinner, we were hungry again by suppertime. Mom would pull out the popcorn pan, a heavy-bottomed thing with sides dark with old burned-on oil. Being this was her night off, she taught us at a fairly young age how to measure the oil and the popcorn into the pan and to turn down the heat at just the right time and when to shake it so it wouldn’t scorch on the bottom. Since I didn’t always have my listening ears on, I often hid the burned pieces in my own bowl and to this day love the flavor of slightly scorched popcorn. After the popcorn was dumped into a large bowl, a chunk of butter was tossed into the warm pan to melt and be drizzled over the warm fluffy popcorn before sprinkling it with salt. Today’s dry microwaved popcorn with artificial butter flavoring is not even comparable. We then cut slices of Colby or cheddar cheese, put them on top of saltine cracker squares and placed them under the broiler until the cheese bubbled and mixed up a pitcher of Koolaid with real sugar. If you asked us what flavor it was we would probably tell you “red”. For this meal only, we were allowed to eat on trays in front of the TV while together, we watched “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” and “The Wonderful World of Disney” wiping our buttery fingers on our pajamas if we forgot to grab a paper towel. The few dishes we used could be left in the sink to be washed on Monday. It was Mom’s evening off, and I don’t remember any of us tearing ourselves away from the TV to start washing them, nor did she ask us to. Sunday nights were special, and everybody got to relax. My sister and I both make popcorn the same old-fashioned way we were taught. I’m sure we both use a little less butter and salt than when we were kids, and I don’t think either one of us has made red Koolaid in a very long time. My mom will be 88 in a few months, and my own age will soon match the speed limit that I am supposed to follow on my drive to and from work every day. When I mentioned to her that I was going to write about Sunday night suppers, Mom wanted to make sure I told everybody that she did fix her family a hot meal for Sunday dinner “with meat, potatoes, and gravy and NOT just sandwiches!” My listening ears are on, Mom, and a little finer tuned than they were back in the day. So, dear reader, as a favor to me, would you please go back and read the first few lines again? That way Mom can be sure that everyone will know I was raised in a proper home. You can skip the part about wiping our fingers on our pajamas and leaving the dishes in the sink until Monday morning. She is not going be happy that I mentioned that. Not happy at all. Do you think I’m too old to be grounded?