Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Dinners

When I rolled out of bed on the Sunday mornings of my childhood, I’d find my mom in the kitchen browning the meat or chopping the vegetables or making the salad for Sunday Dinner.  Before we left for Sunday school, she had Swiss steak or pork roast or beef-carrots-potatoes-and-onions in the oven or on the stove or in the electric skillet.   As soon as we got home from church, she would put on an apron and whip into action, and by 1:00, we’d be sitting down to a big meal.  When my own kids were young, we often went to my husband’s parents’ house for Sunday Dinner.  At their house, dinner was the evening meal, a big dinner that my mother-in-law had spent much of her afternoon preparing.  After my husband's dad died, we started having Sunday dinner here, but it wasn’t quite the event it had been when my mom or my mother-in-law was doing the cooking—it was just another dinner, not Sunday Dinner.  Then for a little while when our kids were in high school, two of my friends and I took turns hosting Sunday Dinner for all three families, but when our kids started leaving for college, that came to an end.    In the last year or so, a new Sunday Dinner tradition has been quietly taking root in our family.  I think it started during football season when Ben, the child who lives nearby, would come over after church to watch football and do his laundry.  For years while the kids were growing up, Friday night was pizza night, but when we stopped having kids at home, we stopped ordering pizza on Friday nights.  Yet we still had a fondness for pizza, so on one of those Sunday afternoons, we decided to get pizza and bread sticks during the second game.  Then a couple of weeks later, we remembered how good that pizza had tasted, and I remembered how nice it was to sit and watch football instead of making dinner, so we decided to order pizza again, this time with chicken wings.  Now, more often than not, we eat pizza for Sunday Dinner.  And I’ve decided to stop feeling guilty that I don’t have dinner in the oven when I leave for church or that I don’t spend all of Sunday afternoon cooking a big meal.  I’ve finally realized that Sunday Dinner isn’t about the food, it’s about the memories—and for us, for now, pizza works just as well as pork roast.

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