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Sunday Dinner and Supper


sachi
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Hi all,

This is Sachi, I'm a features reporter at the Record in Bergen/Passaic counties.

I write about food occassionally and I'm most interested in the culture of food, how it shapes our identity and communities.

I recently was invited to a friend's house in Brooklyn for Sunday dinner. She's a killer cook and made buttermilk fried chicken and peach cobbler. The guests were an eclectic group of friends, who decided to form an "adopted" family to meet for Sunday dinners.

That got me thinking: is this happening in North Jersey ?

After preliminary research, I've talked to a bunch of local Italian families who are keeping the Sunday dinner tradition going strong. But have yet to locate others are doing it ?

So I put a question out there to you.... Do you do Sunday dinner ? If so, why ? and who gets invited.

Thanks much, Sachi

Sachi Fujimori

Features Reporter

The Record/ Herald News

Ph: 973-569-7088

fujimori@northjersey.com

Edited by sachi (log)
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It's a sad commentary on the Sunday dinner when this topic is posted for 24 hrs and nobody responds. One of my friends (retired, single, no kids) cooks Sunday dinner every week for her sister and brother-in-law. When she told me about it, I thought it was such a great idea. She touches base with her nearest family every week, and she gets to stretch and practice her cooking muscles too. She's a phenomenal cook. Every time I mention a dish, she's tried to cook it at some time or other and has comments to make about it. I'm guessing that her family are willing and happy guinea pigs!

For myself, I have a small group of friends that try to meet regularly once a month, for coffee at least, if not for potluck dinner. We've just canceled our 2nd monthly mtg in a row. At least one person is unable to attend for any given date, I swear it. Every time we email our schedules to each other, I feel I should open a spreadsheet in Excel to figure it out. I suspect my experience is not uncommon...

good luck, Sachi, I hope you can pursue your idea in other venues. :smile:

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Last year, the Boston Globe started a weekly column, Sunday Suppers, in its food section. The idea is to not only encourage the Sunday supper tradition, but to have leftovers from which to build another meal. It's been a really popular column.


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For me, Sunday dinner is always a roast. Pork or beef, sometimes a roast chicken, maybe a ham. It is the one meal of the week that everyone sits down as a family around the table. We don't do it so much in the summer, because of travels back and forth from the cottage, but in the winter, Sunday roast dinner is a tradition that I have done for years.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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It's just my husband and I, but we try to have one "Sunday" dinner a week, although it's not always Sunday. For years, when we had a corner store open seven days a week until 8 p.m., we had our proper dinner on Saturday because neither of us had to get up early (7:30 a.m. for me, instead of 6 a.m.) Sunday morning. This week past, it was Thursday for John's birthday.

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My family does a pretty big Sunday dinner, but not for the explicit reason of having a "Sunday Supper." We eat a large-ish lunch/brunch with my dad's family in the afternoon, so we usually aren't hungry enough for a normal-for-us early, light dinner. Also, with schedules that change from day-to-day, work, and events, Sunday just happens to usually be the day of the week that we do something big in the kitchen. Usually it's the meal with the most side dishes, and it's one of the ones that are not all-in-one kind of recipes (like tacos, casseroles, pasta dishes, etc.). We do lots of roasts or BBQ big hunks of meat.

This week we had pork loins roasted with sweet potatoes and apples and a salad.

"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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As a kid, Sunday dinners were always "serious" food...a roast, ham, fried or roasted chicken, full blown meals...usually something that would take time to make.

Our Saturday dinners were the opposite..."fun" food like tacos, pizza, hamburgers. Whatever could be handheld and (usually) carried out the door as our social lives became busier and busier.

But on Sunday the sit-down dinners were always more formal and all family members attended. We also would eat in the dining room as opposed to eating at the table in the family room.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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When I was a child, our family always had Sunday dinners and it was always a roast (meat of chicken) and there would be a homey dessert like a pie or a warm lemon pudding. We would eat the roast cold with leftover gravy etc for at least two days and then my mother would cook other weekday meals like casseroles, or fish.

I loved Sunday dinners. They felt so special! So, when I had a family, I had Sunday dinners too! Sometimes, we invited friends but mostly it was just family.

I mostly cooked roasts - meat or chicken, a bottle of wine and a homey dessert and we would linger at the table saying good bye to the weekend and "hello" to the week. I loved the closeness and intimacy of that meal. The house seemed to have a warm glow at that time.

Later, when my daughter went to university, my husband and I continued with Sunday dinner. However, five years later, we were divorced.

I continued to cook for myself but Sunday dinner was one meal I couldn't bear unless my daughter was home and even then it was hard. I grieved a long time for Sunday dinner. Instead, I went to a nearby restaurant to eat and came home late to avoid to cold contrast of my reality with my rich, happy memories.

A year or two later, I decided to try Sunday dinner again. I invited a friend who was on her own and we would have Sunday dinner - a roast, or a special meal - lamb shanks, a risotto etc.

We would have wine, and she would provide dessert. Sometimes, I would invite others and sometimes we would eat at her place. We still do this, but not all the time. I can however, do Sunday dinner on my own (NOT a roast!)now and it feels special again. Evening closes in, the lights glow, the house is replete with wonderful aromas and I feel blessed.

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Real estate is the problem. We rent. There's no room for a huge dining room. $500K went a lot further back then -- now, it's a studio loft.

Growing up, when we wanted to invite folks over to eat, we'd invite them to one of our restaurants. :)

Or we'd go for dim sum. That's the thing that my parents did most often, and that's what me and most of my friends, even the non-Asian ones, do. But they're mostly "foodies" and this is the San Francisco Bay Area, so everyone is savvy to that kind of stuff. Nothing beats being able to seat thirty people (I've had larger dim sum parties) and serve them hot food literally within minutes. Doing that at home would be a controlled nightmare, and you wouldn't have time to entertain.

Brunch out is the new Sunday dinner. I'd guess that has to do with the fact that we're not going to church with the rest of the community at noon anymore, as a generation. We're chowing down or out shopping.

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my husband and i live in nw new jersey. from september - november we are running a hawkwatch 7 days a week including sundays. during the middle of september(broadwing migration) we are out in the field about 10 hours per day and food is eaten while inputting data. i also - in my real life - work every other sunday. when i do work, i leave something for the hubs to pop into the oven with extremely detailed instructions (he is an engineer and ocd) so it is ready to eat half an hour after i get home. it may be a roast chicken stuffed with lemons and garlic, rubbed with olive oil and dusted with herbs and salt, sitting on a raft of shallots and carrots along with some baked sweets or russets. it may be a meatloaf that we eat with mash and use the leftovers for sandwiches during the rest of the week. i can always pull a veg from the things i blanched and froze during the summer.

when it turns colder and we are done with the hawkwatch i will cook or more importantly bake on sunday. many times, since i am off on fridays, i will do a pot roast, chili, or coq au vin that we will enjoy together on either saturday or sunday.

growing up when i did i tend to cook once to maximize my oven heat so do multiple products at one time then we will have food we just have to heat up while we read the paper after doing yard work - or shoveling snow!!! and sometimes it is fun to do breakfast for dinner - eggs, pancakes, french toast...

because of our diverse schedules(and the fact i hate to eat after 6 pm) my husband and i schedule our "sunday dinners" on most sundays, many saturdays and every other friday. for us it is a time to eat together, catch up and plan our week.

we are two hours removed from my husband's family and all of mine are virtually gone. we are private people here though i grew up in a house with an open door and a soup pot on the stove to feed whoever dame in and needed it. recently we had a wonderful sunday dinner with three of our neighbors celebrating julia child's birthday. good food, good wine, good music, good conversation and good friends.

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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  • 1 month later...

I don't know about everyone else, but for me, Sunday is the best day of the week for cooking. I see Sunday's as 14 hours of potential, unabashed cookery.

As an Englishman, it's engrained in my very nature to make a big thing out of Sunday lunch, but it's been 27 years of much of the same. As delicious as masses of roast meats, crisp potato, doughy yorkshire puddings and intense meat gravies are...I'm starting to quest for something a little different.

So what are Sunday dinners like in your household/country/state/borough? Give me something fresh to play around with...

come look at me.

My link

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I'm in the American South, so Sunday dinners were always started before church,left on the stove half-completed or ready for rewarming, and then finished off within 30 minutes of the benediction. (OK, we lived real close to the church!)

Lots of vegetables, particularly in the summer. Green beans, creamed corn, fried okra, sliced tomatos, purple hulled or crowder peas. Fried chicken, occasionally, but more often pork chops or a pork or beef roast.

As I've graduated from my parents' house to my own home, with children and now mostly without, the Sunday lunches have evolved. It's my leisurely time to play in the kitchen, to experiment, to cook something that's more involved or takes longer, or to cook a big piece of meat that then becomes the basis for more meals later in the week when time's more fleeting. Often, if it's nice weather outside, I grill, and when I do, it's often several different meats, so I have things for later in the week. Now, as it's getting colder, it tends to be braises and low-and-slow roasts. Still lots of vegetables, though, and usually the only dessert I'll make during a week.

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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I am fascinated by any cuisine that can make okra taste good. Any recipes you could drop on me would be much appreciated!

Unfortunately, yesterdays meal was much the same. Roast chicken, roast potatoes and parsnips, sprouts and cabbage sauteed in butter and a thick cider gravy. Not that I'm complaining - it was unreal.

Brunch was a revelation though...slow roasted gammon in marmalade with scrambled eggs.

I miss Sunday already...

come look at me.

My link

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