Making a huge meal for dinner (lunch) on Sundays was always a tradition in my family when I was growing up. Granny would start cooking early in the morning and by the time church was out there wasn't a spot on any counter top or table that didn't have some kind of food on it. And we're talking real food too, all of it made from scratch...fried chicken, corn bread, beans, biscuits, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, cakes, pies, and wonderfully over-sweetened iced tea (with saccharin!) to wash it all down.
And the people came. At least a dozen or more every Sunday. When you have as large a family as we had it's hard not to draw a crowd when everyone knew Granny was in the kitchen (dad has 4 sisters & 3 brothers, mom has 7 sisters). Imagine being 5-8 years old, having a half dozen or more cousins your age around every weekend, and all of you being hopped up on sugar and greasy food and then let loose in a yard surrounded by woods and pastures. It was heaven.
Of course things change, families grow up and drift apart, and those afternoons of running and playing for hours on end get filed away as fond memories. But there's always been something about having a big meal on Sundays that's stuck with me. I love to cook, but being single and living alone makes cooking a real meal for 1 person something of a bother at times. So odds are when I do cook something substantial it's usually going to happen on Sunday. That gives me leftovers for most of the work week, I have all day to cook it, and it lets me flashback to the days spent in Granny's kitchen eating all that wonderful food.
Last week was Chicken Tetrazzini from a recipe I found at the Food Network's site (here's a pic). This week I decided to get back to my roots and made a big pot of pinto beans, baked some corn bread (from scratch), and had some boiled cabbage. I found some uncured bacon that had no added nitrates or nitrites and about half the sodium of regular bacon, so I used that to season both the beans and the cabbage.