Friday, May 09, 2008

Making Sundays Special

I have been inspired by my friend, Megan, and her family's Sabbath Meals. She shared about this book (which I ordered with some of my b'day money) and how their family shares a special meal on Saturday night. Enjoying some family time and preparing for Sunday.

I have always said I couldn't figure out the whole make-a-big-meal-after-you-get-home-from-church-thing. So, I went Megan's route and did it on Saturday night the first time. It was very hard. And, I found that Saturday night just won't work for us in our life right now. So, I thought - why not try Sunday after church? David agreed we could try it and now I've been successfully preparing a big Sunday meal after church for about two months.

This past week, I did a Mitford meal ~ Cynthia's Roast Chicken, Puny's Creamed Corn, Cynthia's Roasted Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary (yum!), green beans and biscuits.

I can't tell you how I've enjoyed this. Yes, it takes planning. Yes, it is harder than pulling out plastic containers of leftovers from the fridge (what we used to do after church.) But, it feels so homey. I put an apron on, we use our china every week (including the girls), David says his sweet tea tastes better in a crystal goblet we got for our wedding. It has also provided an opportunity for us to have company on Sunday afternoon - extra food already prepared, come on over!

Another thing I love about this is the reverent and special feeling it gives Sunday. It takes it up a notch from just any other day. A new tradition has been born in our home and I am loving it! Thanks for the inspiration, Megan!


Anonymous said...

So how do you do this time wise? With naps and cooking time? we have never been able to figure this out. We do go to the 11oclock service so we get home a little later. I grew up on the big Sunday meals and really wish we could do them. I know my mom would always have the roast or chicken cooking while we were gone. I can't seem to bring myself to do that.
I also wish that I enjoyed cooking as much as you. HA! But that is another matter as you well know about. :)

Liisa said...

I LOVE this idea. I miss special family dinners. I have to talk to my hubby and see if he is open to the idea. I hope so!


*carrie* said...

Another neat tradition!

Wendi said...

Love this idea!

I have fond memories of Sunday dinner with extended family and actually being a day of rest. Not just another day to run around and do a million things. Great tradition!

Zaankali said...

This is great! My husband and I both grew up having big Sunday lunch meals and my husband has expressed, more than once, that he would like to continue that. I don't know how are mom's did it. It takes a lot of planning (which I am not know for) and effort. I need to try harder because it is a wonderful memory for me and I would like my kids to have that memory also.

Joanne : The Simple Wife said...

This so describes Sundays after church when I was growing up. Something I want to be better about with my family. We seem to got through phases.

With summer coming, I'm thinking a barbecue every Sunday afternoon--hamburgers, hot dogs, c'mon over and play in the yard!

Megan said...

I'm glad you found something that works well for you. We're currently in a season of being out with this due to the busyness of our weekend, but I hope to pick it back up in the next couple of weeks!

Your table is very lovely.

More than Survival said...

Just to see in serving dishes is beautiful! I too often (ok, almost always) put the PAN of food on the table! Inspiration... oh, where oh where is my china??
Keep it up... a wonderful tradition for your family!


Amy said...

That is a GREAT idea, Monica! Your table and food sound lovely! I will definitely be trying this in our house. Thank you for the inspiration (as always!)

April said...

Monica... I read your every post on my feedburner. But I wanted to stop by and let you know that I ordered this book from eBay after seeing it on your site a while ago. It is SO lovely. Very inspiring. It's neat to see what you are doing.

Lynn said...

Hello Monica - I'm glad you are enjoying this new tradition. As a much older mom than you I can honestly say this tradition will truly stand you in good stead later.
As the rest of the UK seemed to be ditching Sunday dinner I held on for dear life - though I did concede to eating it at 6PM. My eldest sons are 19 & 21 at university with lots of invitations here & there but they make a point of being home with us for our special Sunday supper - this tradition is really keeping going here!It was hard work when they were young but it is so so worth it! Enjoy!

Amy said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog for quite a while but have seldom if ever commented. Thank you for your fresh approaches and creativity. I am both challenged and encouraged as I read! As for Sunday after church, I have the same question as Grace. How doe you do this time wise? With needing some time to cook (I know you can prepare ahead, but still there are some things that need to be done "last minute") and then trying to enjoy your meal with kids who are tired and ready for naps. Just wondering how you have worked this out...maybe it will give me ideas or maybe we'll need to consider our special meal another time. Either way, the time together matters! Thanks!

Edi said...

When we changed our living room/dining area back into it's original intended use and bought a dining room table - we began to do this. It doesn't happen every Sunday b/c it seems like Sunday, at least for the cooker, is a nice time to eat out :)

I would also like to know - do you prepare things ahead of time or begin cooking when you get home?

I can't make things too complicated on Sunday unless I do it the night before b/c by the time we get home from church 12:30ish - we are famished! We then have an early church service at 5:00 PM so there isn't much time for cooking after church. I do love this idea though - and the children do too! Sometimes they'd rater go home for lunch in the dining room than go out to eat!

Mary Ann said...

This looks lovely, but personally after years of having a big Sunday dinner and then cleaning up afterwards, I love keeping Sundays as simple as possible. Currently, we meet with our church family in a home setting. We share a meal together with everyone contributing potluck style. So we still usually eat a "Sunday dinner" but it is just so much easier!

That said, I still think it's a wonderful tradition and a special time for your family.:-)

Amy Evans said...

I'm not sure how'd I'd make this work. Our church services last quite a while, and we usually don't get home until around 1:30pm, then we leave for evening service around 5pm.

I actually checked out a book from the library on Sunday dinners, and it looked wonderful, but I just can't imagine spending all my time between church services in the kitchen cooking and cleaning. I'd rather have quiet time with the Lord, reading my Bible and praying.

I hope my kids won't have bad memories of eating pre-cooked food off of paper plates on Sundays! I guess I could splurge and get the fancy paper plates! :o)

Melissa said...

I started doing a big Sunday dinner last fall for my little family. We don't do it every week but it is nice to have a good, hearty meal when we do. It doesn't have to take as much time as people think. I have made soups or stews in the crockpot and served those with fresh bread or rolls. During the week a lot of our meals seem rushed and on Sundays it is nice to take the extra time and make a big meal to nourish my family. It is amazing how much my husband and son enjoy the meals. I feel like God has called me to take care of my family and this is one special way to do that.

Patty said...


After reading about your Sunday meals I checked out your biscuit recipe link and noticed you asked about a recipe for a master mix similar to Bisquick. Did you ever find a good recipe? If not, I have a recipe I have used for 15 plus years.

Bye the way, I really enjoy reading your blog.


Anonymous said...

I really like to get the crockpot going in the morning so it is ready once we get home with little effort. We can even invite someone over (spur of the moment or planned). The side dishes (usually a salad, bread, jello or dessert) can be prepared Saturday.
Also I really wanted to tell you about this great link to an adorable Mother's Day card. I love it and thought it looked your style as well. You can just print it and let the kids create it. (if they are too young then their daddy could help them!) Check it out- it is lovely!
Have a wonderful Mother's Day- rejoicing in the wonderful blessings He has entrusted in us mothers to raise for Him!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have always had big Sunday Dinners both growing up & when my children were at home. Today I go out to eat with friends from church, but I always have a big meal...then don't eat much for supper that evening.
I do realize that what many of your friends are saying is true...that when your chilren are small & need a nap, etc. it may be difficult to time such a meal, but you are proving it CAN be done.
Congratulations on your efforts!
Keep up the good work!

Love you, Grandma

Anonymous said...

Yes, I have always had big Sunday Dinners both growing up & when my children were at home. Today I go out to eat with friends from church, but I always have a big meal...then don't eat much for supper that evening.
I do realize that what many of your friends are saying is true...that when your chilren are small & need a nap, etc. it may be difficult to time such a meal, but you are proving it CAN be done.
Congratulations on your efforts!
Keep up the good work!

Love you, Grandma

Deeapaulitan said...

Family sit-down together meals are so important! This looks delicious!
I love seeing women embrace being wives and moms!
We have our sabbath on Monday because, being a pastor's family, Sunday is just too busy. We don't have a 'fancy' meal, but we have made it special through traditions. Every sabbath is our Pizza night. We play a game or listen to a book on CD or go for a hike... The day always begins with cinnamon rolls and we have devotions.
I love to cook, but since it is our sabbath, I get everything prepared ahead so that all it takes is popping it in the oven.
We try to do family dinners throughout the week, so I get to spoil them then. My kids are all old enough to cook as well, so we often are treated to meals made by them.

Catherine said...

Amazing - I have very recently tried the same thing, inspired by a book called "Building Her House". It takes forethought and effort, but it is SO worth it - it makes that day a special one. What special memories were ever made without someone giving themselves and making the effort to make them happen?! Well done! I am inspired to try a Mitford meal, too. It is good too, because things like Fizzy Drinks and the best desserts are things to look forward to on Sunday - not just for every day.

Michelle said...

Wonderful! I have always wanted to do this too! Happy Mother's day!!!

Kim said...

I always loved doing this. The crockpot is a great help. One of my favorites was roast with carrots and potatoes. Now I live in another culture and this is difficult. I try to do it on Thursdays. The first time I did this on a Thursday, my hubby wanted to know whose birthday it was! HA! He loves it. It's worth the effort. I grew up with the Sunday dinner after morning church and lots of times we had guests. After clean-up we alwasy rested. Sometimes, my name was under the apple tree in a lounge chair. It made for great memories and I wanted the same for my kids.

Jenn said...

Yay for you for doing this for your family and yourself. I have wonderful memories of big Sunday dinners with all the family coming together to squeeze around my grandparent's table. Then, they did not have morning and evening services, just one.

We are also sharing a special Sabbath dinner together as a family, but we are doing ours Friday night. Same idea, a day to stand apart as something special from the common week, a time to slow down and enjoy one another, and I'm sure will have lasting impressions with the little ones. :)