After a hectic week filled with sports, homework, work obligations and a host of other weekday evening distractions, we’ve reinstituted Sunday Dinner.
I am already a big fan of family dinners -- most nights of the week we do gather together around the table and eat, talk and share with the television and cell phones off. But Sunday’s distinction is that we’ve elevated dinnertime to last longer, laugh louder and share this special meal with others.
Sunday dinners as a kid always included my grandparents or aunt and uncle. Sometimes it would be at their houses, other times at ours. My mom would fix a big roast of some kind, and we passed around all of our family’s favorite side dishes that still to this day have a special place in my culinary memories. The conversation was always lively, and most of my mental pictures of my family are framed behind a hearty laugh and a bowl of Waldorf salad.
I can’t give my kids those exact dinners -- unfortunately our extended family extends a little too far to have a regular weekly meal together. But I can give them that tradition of sharing a home-cooked meal with people who we care about. We may not have a whole lot of relatives nearby, but we do have a pretty wonderful circle of friends that we can gather around our table on a regular basis.
It doesn’t matter if it actually occurs on a Sunday or if it’s a actual dinner--other days could work just as well and who doesn’t love brunch? It makes no difference what’s on the menu--although I love to try a new recipe or spend a little longer on something special, but anything works well. What makes it a special event for our family is having the kids not ask, “What’s for dinner?” but “Who’s coming?”
P.S. Your Sunday menu is up to you -- Family Favorite to Five Star. Here are two recipes from each category to get you started: Rachel Ray’s Spaghetti and Meatballs or Julia Child’s famous Beef Bourguignonne.
P.S.S. If you don’t have these ingredients on hand, pizza delivery works just as well. Just add a heaping tablespoon of friends.
-- Tracey Henry, the Suburban Diva