We arrived in New York at midnight, and by 1 a.m. my mother was serving us dinner. "It's too late, Mom," I say. "I'll just have some fruit."
A huge bowl of cut-up pineapple, strawberries and melon was already on the table, set for four, but that would not suffice. In our family, there is a ritual: No visit officially begins unless we sit down together to eat a full meal.