The sweet simplicity of Sunday dinner

What is it about Sunday that makes it feel like the best day to entertain? Think about it: a long, lazy afternoon with loved ones, gathered together around the table. Uncomplicated dishes and sides – without the formality of a Saturday night dinner party.

Sundays often feel more like more of a community effort and a chance to decompress. And since it’s also often considered a “school night,” an afternoon or early evening meal covers both lunch and dinner and lets everyone get home in time to prepare for the upcoming week. And those who don’t have to answer to a bedtime or boss are more than welcome to stay.

What better way than to bring multiple generations of friends and family together around the table? We’ve got a few great tips for starting your own Sunday ritual:

  • Keep the atmosphere casual, warm, and relaxing: You want the focus to be more on spending time with your guests than on an elaborate menu.
  • Invite as many people as you can comfortably fit around your table.
  • Be open to guests who ask if they can bring someone.
  • Invite guests to arrive between one and four in the afternoon.
  • Keep the menu simple and seasonal, but have plenty of everything.
  • Say yes to help—with the prep, the food, the cleanup, the works.
  • Serve the food family style, buffet style, or a combination of both: You could sit everyone down to a plated first course, then serve family-style platters. or enlist helpers to plate each course. It’s all about lingering.
  • Have an activity available before or after the meal: Play board games, do Sunday crossword puzzles, take a walk, watch a movie, or just plain chat.
  • Consider hosting Sunday dinners on a regular basis. You’ll be surprised at how easily the idea catches on.

Sunday dinner has many benefits beyond a good meal. It provides  an opportunity for young people to hone social and table skills, encourages conversation and banishes electronic devices to the sidelines. Sounds like a win-win to us!


The Merenda Real Estate Group is founded by brothers who have strong ties to family and tradition. If you have a Sunday dinner customs or any recipes and menus we’d love to hear about them. Share in the comments below.

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