Sunday, October 5, 2014

Nourish ~ Sunday Food

Welcome to Nourish: 31 Days of Family, Food, and Faith. This is Day 5. To see the rest of the series click here!

These days the words “Sunday Dinner” can mean so many things to so many people. In our own home those words mean different things during different seasons of the year and different seasons of our family life. During this fall season of alternating warm and chilly afternoons our family finds itself in a season of plenty when it comes to feeding ourselves after a full morning of learning and worship. 

Often on Saturdays my Man will look up from his work and say, “What is the plan for lunch tomorrow?”  I’m reminded then, that Sunday lunch for him is both a reward for work accomplished and fuel for more work yet to come later in the evening. Sunday lunch is also a time for our family to come together once more after an often hectic but fulfilling day amongst our church family. 

I know too that Sunday lunch can be a time of nourishing or a time of stress for a family and the determining factor is whether or not the meal has been anticipated. If I’ve spent the weekend conveniently forgetting that my family will in fact need to eat actual food Sunday after church then I can count on a stressful bit of time on Sunday morning while getting ready or while sitting in Sunday school class or while listening to the sermon fretting about what I will feed my family. 

If I’ve not planned for the meal then we’ll have to eat out and unplanned eating out for a family of 6 is sometimes stressful on the budget. If unplanned and the budget does not allow then the stress comes from the need to fly home after church and throw together something that because of it’s lack of planning will be less than my best. 

Nourishing Sunday lunches happen when I’ve taken just a small bit of time to look ahead and prepare ahead. The difference it makes in our Sundays is phenomenal! Waking up on Sunday morning knowing what the lunch plan is frees my day and my mind to be present for the most important part of the week for my family. Knowing the lunch plan takes the focus off of the food and places it on the participants which is exactly where it should be if nourishment is the goal.

Lunch on Sunday looks different for us from week to week. Rarely is it the sit-around-the-big-dining-room-table event over which I imagine our grandmothers presided where everyone sat up straight and passed dish after dish and was on their best behavior because the preacher and his family have been invited. Our Sunday lunches do involve the preacher and his family, but best behavior and copious dishes are rarely in attendance! 

Some Sunday afternoons find us eating at a favorite local pizza place less than a half-mile from our church IF we finish at church in time to take advantage of the pizza bar. While there we often enjoy the company of others from our church family who also enjoy pizza after worship. The fellowship is sweet there and so is the chocolate chip pizza! Most Sundays however, you’ll find us heading up the hill to our home to unwind and get ready for the evening activities at church…and watch a bit of football too.

By 2:00 or 2:30 you can find our gang gathered around the island in the kitchen which has one chair less than the number of seats to be “sat” but we always make do and it is just part of the fun of having a kitchen bursting full of various-sized humans. Usually everyone has changed into their most comfortable clothes and has had a few minutes to relax before being called to the kitchen to fill glasses with ice, set the plates out, or distribute the silverware. 

Most of the time as plates are being filled we realize that one or two of us are missing and a bellowing call to lunch is issued. Prayer is offered and food is eaten as the events of the day are discussed and the lessons of the morning are shared (or are pulled like teeth from those who’d rather not share).

My favorite part of Sunday lunch is that it has usually received the most forethought of any meal of our week and because it has been prepared in advance of the day, its scent greets us as we enter our home. As the years have passed, I’ve collected recipes that lend themselves to this ahead-of-time preparation. 

Some of them are casseroles that can handle a little extra time in the oven if  we arrive home a little later than we expected, other dishes come straight from the slow cooker, while others like soups are quickly heated and ready to go in just a few minutes. 

Some of our favorite Sunday lunches:
{click on the ones that are colored for the recipe}

Pulled Pork Barbque (Crock Pot)
Chipped Ham BBQ (Crock pot)
Cranberry Chicken (time bake in oven)
Sloppy Joes (Crock pot)
Soup and Cornbread (quick heat up on stove)
Brown Sugar Chicken  (15 minutes to cook in oven!)

As for side dishes, we rely heavily on steamer bags of microwave vegetables, or sometimes rice heated in the microwave. AND! If you prepare mashed potatoes ahead you can heat them in your slow cooker (if it’s not already full) too. Just pour a cup of milk in the bottom of the slow cooker and add your mashed potatoes, set the dial on LOW and head out the door for church, worship like crazy and them come home to warm mashed-potatoes! {If your pastor does not preach lengthy sermons…you may want to put your slow cooker on high…just sayin’}.

However you choose to enjoy Sunday lunch, go ahead and give some Saturday thought to the matter and have a plan. Considering the possibilities early gives you lots of time to look forward to the nourishment you’ll share around the table…or the kitchen island…or the booth at the pizza place!

1 comment:

LLMom said...

I like to make simple things on Sunday, and I require all of the children to be home to eat together unless it is something unusual.

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