My Sunday Dinner


As I write this, on a Sunday afternoon, a loaf of banana bread rising in the oven is perfuming the house with that inimitable baked smell of love.

Meanwhile on top of the stove is a cast iron frying pan in which I’m smothering a spatchcocked chicken under a plate weighted with cans from my pantry. You can find Craig Claiborne’s iconic recipe here. It’s a brilliant, disarmingly simple recipe that’s all about technique and results in a big flavor you can’t believe.

The banana bread is for my “first breakfast” (I’m like a hobbit: first breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies) in the week ahead. First breakfast is when I wake up super early and pad to the kitchen, make a cup of tea, slice a piece of whatever I’ve baked, and go back to bed for a lovely moment. Of course I’m always “dieting” — but I made a deal with myself: I can eat what I like if I bake it myself. It takes work and makes me ever more appreciative.

The smothered chicken is my Sunday dinner, which I’ll serve with ancient grains, green peas and sliced tomatoes.

I didn’t grow up with the tradition of Sunday dinner. When I was married and raising a family, Sunday dinner was the last thing I wanted to make after a week of cooking three meals a day. Sunday was my day off; I couldn’t care less what anyone ate —  pizza or sandwiches, a can of soup or leftovers.

But now with children grown and flown, and me living alone, the ritual of Sunday dinner gives me great comfort. Sunday dinner has no set time; it can be at two, four, six or eight. It’s a pause, a sit down acknowledgement of my place in the world.

When I cook, and especially when I bake, I feel young. A beautiful loaf of banana bread doesn’t tell (or know )the age of the person who baked it. A table lovingly set with a delicious meal has no idea if I have arrhythmia or a new hip. These are my ageless moments. I cherish them.

It’s during the week now that I nibble things here and there. I start thinking about my next Sunday dinner when I grocery shop on Friday afternoon. And then, more often than not, I call up a friend and invite them over and suddenly I find myself entertaining but not, if you know what I mean. The balm of Sunday dinner.  Loving and being loved.

xo Liza

Hello my lovelies! What is your take on Sunday dinner?  Yay or nay?  Any standby favorites you care to share?  We’re always looking for inspiration. Please talk to us in the comments box below, it’s ever so much fun to hear from you. If you enjoy being part of our life loving, wise, witty, savvy group of women, please enter your email in the box above so you don’t miss a thing.







7 thoughts on “My Sunday Dinner

  1. mmmm. great ritual!
    but you forgot to mention the improvised Saturday dinner with that absolutely delicious minestrone! still enjoying it in my memories!

  2. The wonders of cast iron cooking. You should have tasted my mother’s fried chicken. OMG! On another note, I, who worship words, am grateful for your having given me a real winner: spatchcocked. I’ll be saying it over and over again in my head for the next week.

    1. Hi Chloe. I think there is a new cookbook out on cast iron cooking. I love making fried chicken…but what to do with all the oil afterwards…?

  3. This reminds me of the time I had myself to dinner. I was alone, and I had inherited from my Great Aunt. Among the things I had acquired were solid silver grape scissors, a Victorian ivory handled carving knife, a crystal decanter and some lovely old blue and white plates and platters. I roast a shank of lamb, decanted some fine claret, bought a bunch of grapes and served myself a grandly presented Dîner à Une. It was a very confirming moment.

  4. Growing up in the Midwest, it was Sunday supper. Now I’m a convert to dinner, living in Arizona. But do love your ritual and your words “ageless moments”. I appreciate your blogging on the simple things we enjoy. I also blog and people ask me how I come up with what to write? It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as we can write. Happy Tuesday!

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