Confession: Every Sunday noon I cook the same food for my family—pancakes and eggs.
You are horrified. You had no idea that it was possible to serve less than a roast, potatoes, carrots, a green salad, five or six sides, fresh rolls, dessert and coffee for Sunday dinner and remain within the fold.
Or maybe not. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you are still sitting there in the wake of my confession, still breathing, not suffering from any pulmonary failure, cardiac arrest, or acute and unexplained indigestion. (That would be the roast.)
Our Sunday menu dates back to the days when Ryan and I were first married. We were usually too in love with each other, having too much fun to really be exactly ready for church on time. We always left in a scramble, with the house a wreck. We’d get home and say—Okay, what’s fast and delicious? Let’s make waffles. I’d heat up the griddle, Ryan would fry a mean batch of bacon, and in a few minutes we’d be sitting down to paradise on a plate.
I felt guilty for not cooking a “decent” Sunday lunch—but only if people found out. For us, this meal was just right.
Somewhere along the line, our menu evolved to pancakes and eggs. It may have something to do with the price of bacon, times five eaters instead of two. Or it may be connected to the fact that my waffle iron began retaining its waffles, tearing them open down the middle when I raised the lid. After fighting with it for weeks, in a fit of outrage I hurled it into the trash can. It may be that.
Or it may be that Ryan loves pancakes, preferably with fresh blueberries bursting inside, juicy and purple. And I love eggs, warmly scrambled, topped with cheese, filled with bits of meat. (We like chopped pepperoni: another carryover from the early days, when some weeks there wasn’t anything else on hand…) We fill a bowl with fresh fruit—whatever kind we have in the fridge—fill some glasses with milk, and our dinner is complete.
With zero preparation ahead of time, we can sit down in 20 minutes to a hot meal and a family tradition. My sons throw fits if I serve anything else on a Sunday.
Once we grew in courage, and overcame the hurdle of serving pancakes to dinner guests, we found this also makes a fantastic meal for company. Usually they love it—the men order the fruit they want in their pancakes (apples, raspberries, plain), the ladies do the flipping, and we easily double the batches to make ample for all.
What works for you? Do you have food traditions?
**Addendum: Several commenters mentioned the pressure to make large dinners as being part of Mennonite culture. I know the feeling, but I wonder–is this custom particularly Mennonite, or just old-fashioned? I think we simply held onto what most Americans used to practice, and dropped. I would be a fool not to value the homemaking/ cooking skills I was given, even when I want to shake them up a bit. :)**