Monday, April 8, 2013

Bringing Back Sunday Dinner

By Tracey Lyons

Perhaps the most wonderful times of my life were the Sunday dinners my grandmother, Lina Davis, used to cook. Now mind you, Grandma Davis was not a culinary wizard. She was a bare bones, meat and potato kind of cook. A left over from the depression era where food was scarce, but company came in abundance.  Sunday dinners meant the warm comforting smells of pot roast, mashed potatoes and gravy made from a dry mix. It was all so good to me. Those dinners meant a hearty meal with family that I loved dearly.

As I started a family of my own I decided I wanted to keep the Sunday Dinner tradition alive. So for years I hosted Sunday Dinners. Everyone in the family usually dropped in.  My sisters would bring their families, and on the special occasion when my brother visited with his family from California, the house filled to the brim. The cousins would play with the toys in the living room while the grownups hung around in the big open kitchen catching up. My dinners always had something baking in the oven filling the house with smells reminiscent of the days spent at my grandmother’s.  The dining room table would be extended with extra leaves, mismatched chairs would be gathered around so everyone had a place. I always brought out the good china and tablecloth.  The centerpiece always had candlelight.  My dining area was filled with family, laughter and love.

Now that my sons are grown I’m hopeful they will carry on the tradition of the occasional Sunday Dinner. My family is filling up with daughter-in-laws and grandchildren. We don’t live as close as I would like, but the best times are when everyone gathers at our home for one of those special Sunday Dinners.  I still bring out the same china we used when the kids were little. There is always something wonderful cooking on the stove top and in the oven. My sons come to the kitchen to help prepare the meal while their kids play in the living room.
Sunday dinners are just one of those age old traditions that never wear out. I hope everyone has experienced them in their lifetime.  Do you have any wonderful memories of Sunday dinners you’d like to share? If so I invite you to leave a comment below. 


An avid lover of books and historical romances, Tracey has been writing romances for almost thirty years.  She holds membership in Romance Writers of America, Novelists Inc. and Liberty States Fiction Writers.  Tracey and her husband live in downstate New York with two dogs and four chickens. When not busy writing, and doing research for her books, she is busy making her husband crazy with renovations on their 1800’s farm house.  To learn more about the Women of Surprise sweet historical romance series visit  Visit Tracey on Facebook at Tracey is also published in contemporary romance. You can learn more about these books by visiting

The Women of Surprise historical romance series. Amazon/Montlake


Linda Rondeau said...

i remember those dinners, too. Grandma would play the piano and we'd gather around and sing. Dad got his guitar out and my brother played the banjo.

My kids live too far away. But since I've moved to Florida, I get together with my brother after church. It's not the same but at least it's family.

Claude Nougat said...

My memories are about Sunday Lunch, not dinner. We'd all gather after mass (those of us who attended church, not everyone!)...Nice to have family traditions, it's so important, especially in this day and age of disruption!

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

When my son was in High School, a few of his friends came over for dinner. We all sat down and I said Grace. One kid said, "What's this? The Brady Bunch?" Call it whatever you want, it's who we are and what we do.

David said...

Ah the memories your posting brought back. Sunday dinners, most often eaten about 1 PM, was one of those traditions that was insisted upon by the head of the family. I think we are better for it.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Great post, Tracey!
I still love big Sunday or holiday dinners.
Whenever I'm with my family it's always the best times.

Deborah Dee Harper said...

Tracey.... what wonderful memories you hold! My family lived a good distance from both sets of my grandparents, but I remember meals with them when we did have a chance to get together, and pot roast and mashed potatoes were always on the table. Sometimes, they'd pick tomatoes from the garden, still warm from the sun, slice them up, and serve them with a sprinkle of sugar. Thanks for bringing memories of my own.


Tracey Lyons said...

Thank you all for sharing your Sunday Dinner memories. I have to admit when I'm feeling a bit stressed with everyday life all I have to do is think about those days at my grandmother's and I feel so much better.

LD Masterson said...

I remember family Sunday dinners with my parents and my brother but we never lived near extended family so it was "just us". As a mom, it was the same - my husband was career Air Force and we never lived near our extended family. You've made me feel wistful for what we missed.

Samantha May said...

Sunday dinners are very important to my family. We are all so busy during the week, but we always make time for Sunday dinner :)

Pam Halter said...

I never participated in a regular Sunday dinner until I married my husband, 23 years ago. My mother-in-law was a wonderful cook.

Today, Mom is struggling with Mild Cognitive Impairment (a prequel to dementia) and can't handle cooking a meal anymore, so I've taken over Sunday dinner. It's a bittersweet experience, but Mom still enjoys having as much family as possible together.

Thanks for a great story!

Todd Pinkowski said...

Ah and don't forget the steamed peas with milk and butter... Trout fishing in the stream next to house with Grandpa and Uncle Dan, yes those were the days.

Tracey Lyons said...

I still make my peas that way, Todd!