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Sunday Dinner and Supper
Old 02-15-2009, 07:56 PM   #1
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Sunday Dinner and Supper

On Sundays mother would serve the big Sunday meal in the early - mid was called dinner...there was no lunch on sundays never on sundays...this was chicago...mother was from a midwestern farm

sometime in the evening we had supper which was usually sandwiches from the leftovers from dinner....i can remember watching elvis while eating a meatloaf sandwich and the beatles while eating a lightly buttered salted and peppered cold chicken breast on white bread sandwich with cold glasses of whole milk......

i grew up thinking this was pretty common..not so sure it was or is lately?

is this foreign to anyone of youse...

what was the custom at your house and where did you live

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Old 02-15-2009, 08:05 PM   #2
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Same at our house. We lived in the south. I think it was almost tradition around the south. I wonder if it was other places.

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Old 02-15-2009, 08:06 PM   #3
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You're probably right in thinking this is a regional thing. I grew up in the South mostly, and there you might eat lunch if you were at work or school and it consisted of a sandwich or something similar. Supper was always the last meal of the day. But a family style meal in the middle of the day, that was dinner. So, most of us ate breakfast, lunch and supper during the week and on weekends had breakfast, dinner and supper. Sunday dinner was usually right after church, and was a family event. It was the time everyone sort of reflected on the week, talked about next week's plans, fixed the problems of the world, discussed that morning's sermon, chit-chatted about anything new and exciting, and introduced new boyfriends/girlfriends, etc.

The size of the meal didn't really make much difference. Sunday dinners could be elaborate or a simple meal. It was the gathering and sharing that made it special. Many of them were big though, in food served and people present. I don't remember much about Sunday suppers - they must have been inconsequential is my guess.
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:08 PM   #4
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I was a latch-key kid long before the term was coined. My single mom worked, took care of my grandmother, and cared for me and my brother. She couldn't cook worth a darn, but on Sunday afternoons we always had baked chicken, veggies, mashed potatoes and gravy, and dinner rolls. The whole family helped put it together. I don't think the menu changed for 6-8 years. A wonderful memory. Thanks for reminding me.

Of course, on Fridays we always had fish sticks, on Tuesdays we had hot dogs and macaroni and cheese while we watched the Fugitive, and other than that it tended to be peanut butter and jelly or cereal. Tasty, but not so nutritious.
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Old 02-15-2009, 08:59 PM   #5
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Grandma did the dinner/supper thing on sundays. She was born and raised in Tennesee, lived the first 25 or 30 years of her adult life in Texas before moving to California. My family usually just had lunch after church and then dinner or supper, whichever you want to call it as the last/big meal of the day. Now, DW and I just do whatever, and Sunday is usually my day to cook. (Did a nice roast with gravy and rice yesterday...yum).

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Old 02-15-2009, 09:02 PM   #6
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Yep, Every Sunday we had Pot roast about 12:30 and then later we had hot roast beef sandwiches . I grew up in Pa, so not just a southern thing .
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:26 PM   #7
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My memories are the same, but sometime in the mid-fifties Sunday dinner switched to burgers and brats and metts on the grill for the warm 6 moths or so of the year. It might have been because my grandfather died, and he was the Sunday Dinner cook.

It was also later in the afternoon for us. Usually bacon and eggs after church, then the dinner or cookout around 4 or 5. I became the cookout chef when I was about 13.

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Old 02-16-2009, 06:09 AM   #8
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My mother, now 78 years old, grew up on a wheat farm in Kansas. It's funny you mentioned this because mom and I discussed my Grandmother's cooking just last week. Just as you described, the mid day meal was the largest and was referred to as dinner. Everyone was plenty hungry from working on the farm. Supper was lighter and often included leftovers from dinner. This meal pattern was featured every day, not just Sundays.
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:25 AM   #9
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Same pattern here. Yesterday we had bbq ribs, baked beans, corn on the cob and biscuits. Pretty good. But I didn't have left overs last night. One beer and a couple of crackers with cheese. Still stuffed from lunch. Now I've got to crash the next 2 days for Wednesday weigh-in.
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:25 AM   #10
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In the rural area outside Chicago, the Sunday big mid-day meal was tradition around the older farmers I knew. My Mom was born/raised in Chicago, so we didn't follow that, but I observed it a lot.

There aren't many young farmers around any more, and a good portion of those farms are suburbs now, so I suspect this tradition is dying out. I'm guessing the origin was a social thing, maybe because they were not working that day, it gave them time to get together after church for a big dinner, but still time to go to bed early (which many of the old farmers I knew did too, and I mean *early*!)?

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Old 02-16-2009, 07:29 AM   #11
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When we had a working farm, you had a very early breakfast (before going out to feed the chickens), dinner about noon, which was the biggest meat and potatoes type meal, a little lunch in the mid-afternoon, and supper in the evening when the chores were done. Even though there were four meals people worked hard physically so no-one was fat. Breakfast always included eggs as we had chickens.

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Old 02-16-2009, 07:30 AM   #12
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I'm from a small town in Ohio, mostly farming in the area but one big factory where 75% of the town people worked. All German decent. At noon, the factory shut down and everyone went home for "dinner". Factory shut down at 5PM and everyone went home for "supper". The dinner at noon was usually smaller than supper. The whole town was Catholic and I hated meatless Fridays. Oyster soup or tomato soup. UGH! Sometimes fish. Looking back to the 40's through 1954 when I graduated high school, seems like my Mother worked from dawn to bedtime cooking, cleaning and doing laundry. We had a two story house with a basement and she was always up and down the stairs so many times in the day. Bedrooms upstairs, laundry in basement. Oh, and the coal furnace was in the basement. Up and down all day long. Oh, and the laundry had to be hung on the clothesline outside. I don't think young women of today would put up with that. That's all she ever knew- bless her soul. Those were the good old days
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:35 AM   #13
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Same for me too when growing up in Nebraska. Sunday dinner was usually pot roast, potatoes and carrots or fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Leftovers were served for "supper". Sometime we only had cereal for supper or something really light. Only those folks shown on TV programs that lived in the city had their main meals in the evening. I always thought those TV families were so cool...they knew how to really lead their lives.

I think that the main meal was served around noon while I was growing up due to more physical labor for both men and women (field work and housework). They needed the energy for doing their work as well as cooler temperatures during the early part of the day (no air conditioning).

I also think that's part of the weight problem we have now. Having the main meal at night without any physical activity after dinner except pushing buttons on the remote = big butts.
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:38 AM   #14
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We usually go out with some friends from church after Sunday services and eat a rather large meal, and then usually a small "top off" meal in the evening.
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:42 AM   #15
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I grew up in small-medium towns in California. Breakfast was at 7am, except on weekends when it was 8-9am. Lunch was always a sandwich-type meal around mid-day. And dinner was the large family meal at 6-8pm, depending on what time of year (when it got dark). The exception to this was on major holidays, when we had the big family meal at 3-4pm.
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:01 AM   #16
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I grew up in PA and we had the large meal at lunch time and then left overs for supper on Sundays. I like doing that myself sometimes. I did not get to eat breakfast before early morning ushering at church and then Sunday School, so I ate a bowl of cereal and blueberries around 11:15. I told family we were eating an early supper. We had baked whole chicken, mashed potatoes and green beans around 3:00. Meant to have it a little earlier. DD made No Bake Cookies last night and I ate at least 4-5 cookies. I have a hard time staying out of them and I asked her not to make them again! We are having spaghetti and meatballs and rolls tonight.
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Old 02-16-2009, 12:00 PM   #17
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In the summers, we often had Sunday dinner at grandma’s summer house in the country; she lived all her life in Chicago. There was usually at least one set of aunts, uncles and cousins all seated at the table. A typical meal was meat with mushroom gravy, potatoes, salad from a bowl rubbed in garlic, canned veggies like corn, always cottage cheese and green and black olives, gherkins (referred to as jerks), maybe cake or vanilla ice cream for dessert. That alternated with Italian dishes like old-fashioned pizza with salad. We drove home before supper time.

At home, Dad totally rebelled against the formality of “the lake” and we kids ate in front of the TV separated from the adults in the kitchen. There were a lot of Italian dishes at home like neck bone spaghetti, home made Italian bread, always chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Most of the meat we had was so tough the dog got most of it. We made bologna sandwiches for school lunches, I liked mine with mustard.
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:23 PM   #18
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When I was in the hospital in Germany this last month, the main meal was at lunchtime - it was a 'hot meal' while supper was usually similar to breakfast - coldcuts, cheese and bread. They still have the Mittagsmenu or Mittagsessen out here - you can either way; large meal at lunch or evening.

Growing up, Sunday was 'brunch' after church and then dinner/supper at 1630 or so - for Thanksgiving/Easter, we usually ate around 1500 or so. Grandma used to talk about the mid-meal of the day being the largest when she was growing up. Sometimes I do that now - we eat a 'hot meal' at 1400 or so on weekends with supper-like portion sizes in the evening.
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:06 PM   #19
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Danny, I'm in upstate New York, with Irish/German background, and our custom was similar to yours. We had a big Sunday dinner at about 2 p.m. Usually, though, that was the last meal of the day, but nothing to stop you from looking for something to eat later if you were hungry. The day also started with a bigger breakfast. When we were in school, we usually had cream of wheat for breakfast on school days, and poached eggs on toast on the weekend.

My mother's parents had the same custom, perhaps a bit later at 3 p.m., with Sunday dinner, and no supper later.

I do the same thing now, and I'm single.
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Old 02-17-2009, 02:44 PM   #20
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Yup. Sunday Dinner around 1PM after church. Supper was what happened around 6PM and was small on Sunday's (more snack-like than) on other days.

NY State, Irish Catholic Family. I should mention that when I was young, you fasted before Sunday church, so you were hungry for dinner.

Fast forward to now. Dinner has disappeared from my life as the idea of a big meal mid-day is unappealing (and snooze inducing).

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