Friday, September 14, 2007

Sunday dinner

When I was growing up, my mother always made Sunday dinner. This was an afternoon meal that followed Sunday School. In those days, we went to Sacrament Meeting in the evenings.

The odd thing is that the menu was fixed. We had the same meal on Sundays throughout my entire childhood and adolescence. Here's the menu:

- Pot roast (you brown the meat, always chuck roast, by searing both sides with onion and then cook it in the oven until it is past well-done)
- Frozen peas (reheated)
- Mashed potatoes
- Brown gravy made from the roast's drippings, flour and water and sometimes with a dark brown gravy extender whose name I can't remember
- Salad in one of three forms (depending on your mood)
a) Iceberg lettuce with Italian dressing made from a seasoning packet
b) Orange jello with shredded carrots and canned pineapple chunks
c) Green jello with cottage cheese curds and canned pineapple chunks (and nuts?)

In the summer the frozen peas would be swapped with whatever vegetable happened to be available from the garden.

Was my mother deranged, or is this what people ate in the 60s and 70s? Is this a Mormon thing? Why did the menu never change? Why that menu? Did anyone else have a fixed Sunday menu? Does this still go on?

I don't know if the trauma of Sunday dinner made me gay, but I know it contributed, at a minimum, to my love of sushi.


iwonder said...

Anything that gets a person to love Sushi is a wonderful thing. Sushi is one of the things I like to describe as "tastegasmic".

And while I think that the strange jello salads must have been a Mormon invention - a horrid, evil invention - my grandma has made something very similar at regular intervals since long before she became Mormon. I think it's an English tradition or something - dry meat with potatoes, gravy and peas. Perhaps it's even a law or something in the UK. Who knows...?

Beck said...

You have just described down to the strange jello salads, dry meat, mashed potatoes and frozen peas (though frozen mixed vegetables were also used) my entire childhood with my parents of what Sunday dinner was (and still is for them). As for why? I don't know. I thought everyone did this!

Switch said...

That's exactly what we ate. Every Sunday. Every item prepared just like you mention, including the salads, though sub ranch dressing (still made from a powder-packet) for the Italian, and frozen corn instead of the peas. Maybe those changes were implemented for the 80's and 90's. Or my mom didn't like peas.

I still get the same meal every time I visit over a weekend.

Almost 50 years worth of pot roast consumed weekly by Mormon families throughout the Uinta Bubble. Yikes.

J G-W said...

Wow! Us too! That is really weird.

Maybe there's a subliminal message in the Book of Mormon that causes people who read it to eat this way on Sunday.

Mr. Fob said...

For a long time FoxyJ and I had a fixed Sunday dinner menu of French toast. It's easier than roast.

Dave said...

That menu is so similar to what my mom made growing up! Roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, sometimes peas, sometimes corn, salad. It was so good, I miss it now.