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Does anyone still get the whole family together for Sunday dinner?

I remember doing this when I was very young and my great grandparents were still alive. The whole family- my grandma and grandpa, my immediate family, my great aunts and their families, etc.- would often get together for Sunday dinner. And, of course, my great grandma went all out- fried chicken, homemade rolls, lots and lots of veggies, homemade apple pie, you name it! Things have changed- they're no longer living, I've moved an hour away, everyone's too busy, restaurants, along with everything else, are open, so we never have the *official* Sunday dinner anymore. I'm thinking that I might resurrect something like it when we finally move into a house- attendance not necessary, but everyone is always invited kind of thing. Does anyone still get together for an official Sunday dinner? How do you go all out? Do people love it or is it a chore for them (and you)? Sort of a back to the future challenge for me!

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  1. We have dinner every Sunday at my parents house. After many years of living all over the country my folks, one of my sisters and her family, and ourselves have found ourselves in one city together again(still have one sister that lives in another part of teh country so it's not a complete family gathering).

    My folks aren't in great health(my mother has full-time care at home) spending Sunday afternoon and dinner together ensure we all see each other regularly...and gives us time to help out if needed around their house(as well as to count out mom's meds for the coming week). My sister and I take turns making dinner...usually nothing elaborate(last weekend we grilled pizzas and had salad with it for instance). During winter months we do a lot of stews and soups that we can put together the day before and just take down and reheat.

    Doesn't really end up a chore since we end up there around 3 in the afternoon...gives us plenty of time for the rest of the weekend to do what we want/need to do.

    1. What a lovely thread idea! You just sent me on a lovely trip down memory lane.I have great memories of Sunday dinners past. It was served around noon and always a roast of some kind, usually roast leg of lamb with the leftovers used in sandwiches for school or a shepards pie. Sunday evening it was my job to make scones ...made without a bowl, just dumping the flour on the counter, making a well and mixing in the wet ingredients. I haven't made them like that in years.Sadly my family is in another country but I think it is a wonderful thing for familes to do. Even with the busy lives we all tend to live these days this is a tradition that familes should make a priority, especially if they have children.

      1. I make a special dinner for my son, his wife and their little girls 4 & 6 every Sunday. I try to make something special, something different and something that the girls will eat. Favorites are fried sole, six hour prok roast, roast chicken, spaghetti bolognese, chicken parmesan etc. When I am ambitious I make homemade ice cream for dessert. I love spending my Sundays cooking and they love being able to enjoy Sunday activities without having to worry about dinner. And, of course, we love getting together and catching up on what has gone on during the week. Leftovers go home with them for next days lunch and/or day care /school lunch boxes.

        1 Reply
        1. re: emilief

          I have been cooking all day on Sundays for years, I try new things and take care with menu planning (and keep a little journal of what I've made and who was there,,,,,such a geek!) I look forward to it all week. Our late teen, early 20's kids and their friends come, Somethimes those kids' parents. Sometimes some of our friends. I make a lot of food, and depending on how many show up, we either have lots of leftovers....or not. Go for it, Katie Nell!. Maybe we can start a thread on Sunday menus,

        2. Growing up, we always had roast beef dinner on Sunday. My grandmother made the roast and gravy, grandfather made the rolls, mom made the cabbage salad, potatoes and vegatables. Loved it! I cook every Sunday for a crowd. I am never sure how many will be there, relatives, friends- whomever. In the winter, the meal may be pot roast, roast chicken, roast beef, spagetti and meatballs- something that can simmer and feed a crowd. Now that the weather is warm I use the grill. LAst Sunday, we had turkey tips ( fresh from a local turkey farm) and chorizo on the grill. Served with a salad, corn on the cob and potato salad. I am on vacation next week, but am thinking about shrimp and chicken on the grill for when we get home.
          Please go for it- you will be surprised at how many of your friends or relatives will love it. And you sound like you would enjoy the cooking. I know I do- I spend most of my Sundays cooking and would not change a thing.
          My youngest neice and nephew will now even request their favorites. Last week, the three YO asked for brownies for dessert- and told me I could put either m & M's or chocolate chips in them, too. She is a full fledged chowhound at 3!

          1. Sorry, but imo that's what holidays are for. There's not enough Xanax in the world to get me through a weekly dinner with "everyone."

            1 Reply
            1. re: foodstorm

              I'm really close with my grandparents, parents, and brother, so they would not be a chore! Some of the extended family, however, would be! But, they're far enough away that I can pick and choose who I want to be there! :-)

            2. Hi Katie--boy I miss those Sunday dinners from childhood--my father's mother would do fried chicken and a bunch of veggies and sides (depending on the season). Now, I try to pick up a quick treat for my mother's mom (she's in assisted living) and go for a visit. When she's up to it, we'll sometimes go out for brunch, but that all day, home-style cooking...too few and far between. And ironically, I have an open invite to my best friend's family Sunday dinners, and rarely do I go.

              1. As a kid we used to all get together at my grandparents house for Sunday dinner. Always was more relaxed and fun and thanksgiving and Christmas. I think that is what started my interest in food and cooking.


                2 Replies
                1. re: Withnail42

                  I love the idea of Sunday dinners. Hopefully when I am no longer a broke college student I will be able to resurrect the tradition. I would love to do an open invitation Sunday dinner. I believe traditions like this gives children a good foundation and a sense of family.

                  1. re: dream_of_giusti

                    I agree dream_of_giusti. I too look forward to having such Sundays!

                2. casa jfood is a sunday night family dinner, but as the little ones go off to college, we have gone from 4 to 3 and the third member changes faces when the littler jfood goes off to college and the bigger little jfood camps out at home with her first job. casa jfood will probably go to 4 again with little jfoods boyfriend joining.

                  1. When I was a kid my dad ran a restaurant and the big day there was Sunday. So we would all go there and have dinner after church. My grandparents would be there--they were usually working too--and my uncle, when he lived there and worked for my dad.

                    After that we'd pretty much had enough family togetherness for the day, so we'd go home and that night my mom usually made potato soup or pancakes or something. We'd already had our big dinner.

                    1. I wish we all lived close enough to do this, but we are all over the country now. This subject brings up memories for me, though. When I was a kid, we always visited my grandparents 2 days car trip away for several weeks. While there, family and friends would congregate for Sunday supper, which was served around 2 pm, if I remember correctly.

                      Afterwards, we would play cards for hours around the dining room table, drinking iced tea. Rook was the favorite game, and we played the version with the red 1, which I didn't realize was a variation designed for provocation until I was an adult. Exciting card games were the assumed norm in my family, apparently. (I also realized as an adult that playing cards on Sunday was considered a somewhat daring choice of recreation in the small town where my grandparents lived.) Sometime around 6 or 7pm, sandwiches would be made and served with leftover vegetables and pickles and maybe chips, then ice cream or dessert. We'd play cards until 9 or 10 pm some nights, which was a treat to stay up with adults so late. I remember falling asleep on the couch, and being carried to bed, protesting that I wanted another hand. This sounds all sentimental, and I should add that there were arguments, a few of which I incited, but overall the memories of Sunday supper at Grandma's are good ones.

                      1. When my Italian grandmother was still alive, after church we would have Sunday lunches at her house or, most often, at my aunt's house next door. My aunt would go all out, preparing antipasti (including artichoke frittata- yum!), pasta, then meat and salad, fruit, and desserts (made by Nonna). We would then play card games or talk for the rest of the afternoon. Since Nonna passed away and my aunt and cousins moved to different areas of the city, we stopped. But I really miss those Sundays and connecting through food. My mom passed away since, and I would love to bring back Sunday lunch to have built-in time with family and friends.
                        I was thinking of giving an open invitation to both my mother's and father's side, plus some close friends, and whoever is available each week can come to eat and possibly play cards/games after. I love cooking, but could also do it potluck-style if many people come...
                        Do you think it's a good idea to give an open invitation to so many people or invite different sides of the family alternate weeks? I like the idea of having a different mix of people.

                        1. My husband's family did in Sri Lanka. Could be Saturday, could be Sunday, missed the occasional week if some were out of town, but generally, most weeks we got together for lunch or dinner.

                          1. My SIL and I lost our husbands within months of each other. Sundays were really bummer days (daze). We decided to do something about Sundays, so we got together for Bloody Marys and lunch, trading off houses each Sunday. At first is was a commiserating Sunday, but now we solve family problems and issues of national interest. So, be at ease, each Sunday we come up with *the* answers....and today (Sun) will be no different.
                            BTW, we do try out special recipes each week.

                            1. We don't live in the same state as the rest of my sisters, father, etc...so Sunday dinners don't happen in that sense.
                              But when our sons still were at home, and even after they left but were attending college in the same city, we had regular Sunday dinners. The boys would come over, often bringing a friend or girlfriend, and do their laundry while we cooked and watched football. It was a given that they would be there. We would try and cook their favorites, but it was really more about being there than the food. For many years a good friend who was single would join us as well.....it was a standing invitation and he knew he just had to show up. He now lives elsewhere (and luckily is no longer single:-) but he still emails me once in awhile on a Sunday to let me know he misses those dinners. Good times.