Saturday, May 06, 2006

Sunday Dinner

My mother made beautiful, abundant Sunday dinners which were served after church and fed fourteen or so people. My cooking is a pale shadow of hers, but I have been mastering the art of preparing and serving Sunday dinner as best I can. Here's what I've learned so far:

1. I set the table before we leave for church. Actually, Clara usually does this for me as she totally appreciates the fun of getting out a nice tablecloth and the Sunday dishes--Mikasa's Rosemeade china. We use a white cotton Battenburg cloth which is tossed in the washer and dryer--it comes out totally wrinkled but I don't care! I like the rumpled charm. We use ironed napkins too--pink cotton or ivory damask, or sometimes the transparent embroidered white voile. Why own things too good to use? Use them.

2. Before leaving for church I put in a roast--a pork loin, or a pot roast, or two roasting chickens--often with carrots and potatoes around it. I make a salad or a big luscious slaw with peppers, radishes, and cucumbers. Sometimes I cook and refrigerate vegetables for quick reheating after church.

3. Hot bread? Yes. I'll either mix biscuit dough up to the point of adding the (rice) milk, ready to quickly finish and pop in the oven after church, or put a batch of roll dough in the bread machine, which I run to the point of rising. Then I take the dough out and refrigerate it--when we get home I quickly shape it into rolls and pop in into a very hot oven for wonderful rolls. Either way, butter, honey, and preserves definitely belong on the table!

4. Make dessert on Saturday. Clara at bat again, as she dearly loves to bake a good cake. Today she did a Rose-Raspberry Layer Cake which is gorgeous: layers of white cake baked in pans lined with rose geranium leaves, stacked with raspberry preserves, and iced thickly with sweetened whipped cream mixed with more raspberry preserves. Over the top? Yes.

5. Relish plate. Raw carrots, celery sticks, pickles, olives. I love having one on the table, and the kids all think it's special too.

This used to seem like a lot of work to me but the more I have done it the more it goes smoothly and quickly. Now I consider putting Sunday dinner on the table one of the most enjoyable times of the week. It's a privilege to serve a luscious fattening meal to my beautiful growing children and wonderful husband, and realize the blessings of another week together.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I feel quite hungry now!

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