As you read my recipe introductions, you’ll notice a common theme: Family. I come from a large family, with 3 brothers and 2 sisters making us 3 boys and 3 girls total. Yes, like the Brady Bunch. 🙂
With such a large family, it can be difficult to keep up. One of the many things my parents taught us was to love and respect each other no matter what. That was, and still is, reinforced every Sunday when whoever is near gathers together for our family Sunday dinner. Not only is it a family dinner, but it is always family and what we call ‘extended family’.
‘Extended Family’ is anyone who comes to our Sunday dinner on a regular basis. We would always have one of the priests, a couple friends, or we would invite someone new who just needed to be with people. Our group is usually about 14 almost every Sunday. Too large for our 12 person table, so we now have a buffet table setup in the garage and portable tables and chairs that can seat up to 24 people. Now you know why some of my dishes serves 10-12.
Right now we have in our regular rotation of extended family, our family priest, the daughter of my parent’s friends who moved out of the country, a wonderful lady who was invited to Sunday dinner by our priest and is now part of our family, and more. We have a couple friends of us kids who come to dinner occasionally and then whoever is visiting always knows they are invited to join us. Such a wonderful tradition to bringing friends and family together.
This family Sunday Dinner tradition is something that I hope will stick with us. Sometimes it does become difficult to coordinate, now that my mom has passed and us kids have to take on the task of planning and preparing the dinner. But it really is a wonderful thing to just gather, cook, eat, and clean up as a family.
One of my close friends started the family dinner tradition after her father passed away. She has remarked that she really wished they had made that tradition sooner as it has really brought joy to her and her mom and how nice it would have been for her father to be part of something so wonderful.
You can make it simple at first. Just order pizza and gather at your house. Then the next weekend, make a casserole and bring it to your brother’s house and have everyone gather there. No siblings? Just go to your cousins house. Or, create your own ‘extended family’ and invite friends to join you.
So, if you don’t have a family Sunday dinner tradition, try starting one up. And once you get started, use that as an opportunity to try some new dishes found either here on Dish Ditty, or Pinterest, or even a favorite magazine.
Here are a few of our Sunday Family dinner favorites. And yes, most of these dishes were made and photographed at my Dad’s house on Sunday dinner:
- Cherri’s Quick Spaghetti (a must have for a large crowd)
- Bill’s Grilled Lamb
- Cherri’s Crab Casserole
- Cherri’s Smothered Chicken (a second must have for a large crowd)
- Cherri’s 30 Minute Sheet Cake
- Carrot Cherry Salad Recipe
- Simply Delicious Shrimp Recipe
- Potato Pancakes Recipe
Ok, there’s tons more. Anything with the name “Cherri” came from my mom and “Bill” comes from my Dad and were most likely made at our Sunday dinners. You will see more recipes throughout the year as I write down our family ‘secrets’ and share them with you. The one we will probably do soon, now that it’s cool enough to use the oven, is Cherri’s Baked Chicken. Doesn’t sound like much and is super easy, but it was one of my moms famous pot-luck dishes that was always loved and requested.
So, go gather your family and eat! Don’t wait for Thanksgiving or Christmas to start this tradition.