Keeping track of the days of the week was easy for me when I was a kid. Every dinner meal was known in advance, so when roast beef leftovers were served, there was no doubt that it was Monday.
On Tuesday, the smell of liver, onions, and bacon wafted through our house, and in the summer with the back door open, the neighbors would catch the aroma, and some of the kids complained about the smell of liver.
I understood that a huge pot of boiling water smelling of garlic and tomato sauce meant it was spaghetti, and this signified Wednesday.
Thursday night was a hamburger, onion, lettuce, and tomato sandwich plus a baked potato. The tomatoes came from grandma’s garden in the summer.
Grandma’s tomatoes were outstanding. They were grown in a patch of garden on the south side of the garage.
I was told by my granddad that the garden patch had once been an exercise area for a horse owned by the first owners of our house. Thus the fertilizer was deep in the soil, which made the tomatoes large and delicious.
On Friday evenings, the aroma of fish permeated our house, and eating fish on Friday had no religious significance. The adult members of the household had an affinity for fish of all kinds. I cannot remember a Friday (unless Christmas fell on a Friday) when we didn’t have fish.
Saturday eve was German night. The meal consisted of either pork or veal, sauerkraut or red cabbage, fried potatoes, and Black Forest cake. To this day, I will not eat either sauerkraut or red cabbage.
After dinner, the family members settled down for family television night, starting at 7 and lasting until 10.
Family TV night continued for half a dozen years. It disappeared because family members couldn’t agree on what shows to watch, and by then I was in high school, so I either went to the movies or to Richie Schu’s house to play cards and shoot pool.
Sunday night was the five-star meal.
We passed our plates to whatever adult male was sitting at the head of the table, and he loaded each plate with thick slabs of roast beef and a pile of mashed potatoes swimming in steaming brown gravy. We also ate carrots, peas, and Waldorf salad and vanilla ice cream for dessert.
The rule for me was to eat everything that was on my plate. Fortunately, the adults did the same, and this made it easy for me when I washed the dishes because I didn’t have to spend any time scraping food off the plates.
My mother and grandmother were fine cooks, and the meals they made would put many of today’s meals to shame.
There were times when one of my friends would eat dinner with us, and often the friend would comment on how great the food tasted and how he wished his family ate like we did rather than from a frozen food container.
Unmoveable feasts certainly made it easy for me to keep track of the days of the week because the evening meal denoted the day.