Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Return to Sunday Dinner" by Russell Cronkhite

Return to Sunday Dinner (Revised & Updated)
The Simple Delight of Family, Friends, and Food
Author: Russell Cronkhite
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 9781401604806
Hardbound: 278 Pages

About the Book:
Maybe you can still see it clearly. Your mother, with an apron draped over her Sunday best, standing at the stove, tending to the bubbling pots, sneaking a taste from each one. Somewhere in this memory, you hear the doorbell ring, ushering in aunts, uncles, grandparents, and friends from church, all enveloped in the aromas of Sunday dinner—a pot roast in the oven, warm homemade rolls in a basket on the table, a coconut cake cooling on the counter. Wouldn't you like to go back there?

Russell Cronkhite's Return to Sunday Dinner revisits the time-honored tradition of the Sunday meal, a day of thanksgiving, celebrating the ritual with recipes reminiscent of the Sunday table where you pulled up a seat years ago. Cronkhite will help you recreate those memorable meals you savored in your childhood, and remind you of just how meaningful it can be to break bread each week with the people who matter most in your life. Explore this selection of twenty-four different chapters/menus, each one specially arranged for different occasions. Try the Slow-Cooked Beef Brisket for a simple after-church gathering for friends, or assemble a big pot of Chicken and Sausage Gumbo for a large family shindig. Want the crowd to roar at dessert? Be sure to whip up the Peach Cobbler with Frozen Vanilla Custard.

And because we all know that life moves at a quicker pace these days, Cronkhite offers up plenty of time-saving tips that will help make Sunday dinner easier than ever to get on the table. Introduce your family to a treasured tradition, and enjoy the distinct pleasure of preparing and sharing a delicious Sunday dinner.

My Thoughts:

I grew up in a family that didn't do Sunday dinners. We went to my grandmother's house every weekend and since she lived on a farm, there was nothing fancy - just a sit down to a nice hearty dinner after we helped with all the chores.  She didn't get out the fancy plates or anything special, we just had a good meal with family and friends if they happened to drop by.

"Return to Sunday Dinner" is a fantastic book. I was fascinated with the concept of a "traditional" Sunday dinner and enjoyed all the stories of how others celebrated their Sunday gatherings. To take the time and care of laying out a fancy table was a novel idea to me, but sounded like so many others did as a normal routine in years past. The shared stories of how things were done are in themselves a delight to read, and the recipes range from the simple and delicious to a bit more extravagant - but all very doable.

I loved reading all the stories and found that I wanted to start my own Sunday traditions after reading this book, however, the children are off to college, so I don't know if it will be too late to start now or not. We'll try it when they come home for winter and summer breaks.

The recipes are delicious and the the best part is that there are do-ahead hints and tips, so it makes the dinners easier to make on a schedule without feeling overwhelmed. The Coconut Cream Cake is a must and make sure to try Grandma's Fried Chicken!

This is a wonderful book to add to any kitchen library, but even more wonderful is the tradition that goes along with this book. If you are like me and didn't have a traditional Sunday dinner, make sure to pick this book up and start your own traditional Sunday meal. If you are already doing the traditional Sunday meal, you'll want to read this and add some new ideas and meals to your existing menus.

Highly recommended!!!!

I received this book through the Booksneeze program. I was not required to write a positive review, but instead, one that gives my honest opinion.

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