Moratorium Sunday

Is there anything better than looking at the calendar for the weekend and seeing a big huge block of…absolutely nothing? Somehow, last Sunday was the first weekend day in a little while that wasn’t spent shuttling the girls to and from birthday parties, or catching up on errands, or barreling north on 95, or south on the Taconic home from a road trip. And when we get wind that this kind of day is coming, we seize on it like a pack of wolves on a bunny, identifying it as “Moratorium Saturday” or “Moratorium Sunday” and anticipating it like Christmas. Plans are forbidden No playdates — for the kids or the grown-ups. No road trips. No errands that don’t include food. (Trader Joe’s falls into the Leisure category.) It’s a day to do nothing…or, at least, a day where we commit to nothing…but end up doing a million things anyway. Like making a big-ass Sunday dinner: Classic barbecue chicken, chutney potatoes, corn off the cob (Abby is missing a few choppers) and a Lee Brothers– inspired Cabbage and Lime Slaw with Peanuts.

Classic Barbecued Chicken
If you make extra sauce, it keeps in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and works well with ribs and pork tenderloin, too.

1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 shot bourbon
salt and pepper
1 dried chili pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 7 to 8 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool.

Drizzle chicken pieces (drumsticks and thighs) with canola oil, salt and pepper. When the grill is hot, grill the chicken (no sauce yet) for a total of 8 to 10 minutes, turning all the while. Brush the chicken with the barbecue sauce and cook another 4 minutes, basting with the sauce the entire time, and turning pieces frequently so they don’t burn.

These are our favorite campfire potatoes, but tossed with the most delicious sweet-and-spicy plum chutney instead of sour cream and chives. The chutney is from Bombay Emerald and when I can’t get it at my local farmer’s market, I order a half dozen online just to have them on hand. (If ketchup is fairy dust for kid food, this stuff is fairy dust for all food.) They also make great host gifts, btw.

Cabbage and Lime Slaw with Peanuts

I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand to make the slaw I’ve been eyeing in Simple, Fresh, Southern (have I mentioned how indispensable this book has become in my kitchen?)  but I came close enough. This version is made from 1/2 small red cabbage (shredded), 1 bunch baby spinach (shredded), 1 lime (segmented), 1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, 2 ears of cooked fresh corn kernels, and a dressing made with lime juice, Dijon mustard, cumin, and olive oil. As with all slaws, the key is in the fine shred.

If you need a recipe for s’mores, I am going to have to call someone about revoking your American citizenship.

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how about a short how-to-make-s’mores for us non-american-citizens?

after that i’ll only have to take care of the how-to-find-marshmallows 😉


thanks Paige! Love those ice cube tray sushi blocks from the book — Victoria Granof is the one who came up with it.


I am having a Moratorium Sunday today and don’t expect to get out of my ‘jammies until at least 2 p.m. It’s that age-old, very wise thing — a day of rest. How grand that you sent out the reminder. Love it!


I love actually NAMING it. We have these days occasionally, but we all too often let something slip in. I must say, in the summer, we’ve got to much produce to process to have a true moratorium, but having a day where the big event is a great dinner is truly wonderful. Thanks for the reminder.


Love your site! Can’t wait to try some of these delectible recipes. Totally off the subject question, are all the recipes on the site in the Cook Book?
Thank you, Twyla


Thanks Twyla! I’m glad you asked that question — people ask me this all the time. There are a few recipes on the site from the cookbook, but the majority of them are from my own personal repertoire. Whenever there is a recipe from “Time for Dinner” I say so. Hope that clears things up. Thanks for reading.


I just made this barbecue sauce yesterday and it was amazing! Even without the garlic, which my two-year-old hid while playing with it and couldn’t remember where she put it. She also loved the sauce and ate about a hundred roasted brussel sprouts with “Dippin Sauce.”

Sarah Rubenstein

We made this entire dinner tonight, night one of our family vacation. Delicious and awesome, as I have come to expect from DALS! We even got the teens to help us cook. For a second we wondered if we were in an alternate universe. Thanks!