“Dinner”, at least in East Texas when I was growing up, is the evening meal, except on Sunday, and then it’s right after church. Mother always had dinner ready to serve when we got home from church. No microwave, no slow cooker, so foods like fried chicken would be kept warm in the oven. Meals were a meat, chicken, or fish; at least two vegetables; rolls; and dessert, always served with sweet tea.
Before we had a freezer, most of the vegetables were home grown and canned. Later we froze most of the surplus. The store-bought vegetables were carrots,lettuce, and canned English peas mainly, although sometimes we would run out of potatoes and onions.
My mother made the very best yeast rolls I have ever eaten. Just ask her grandsons!
As for the sweet tea, my brother thought our aunt made the best tea ever, and made the mistake of telling Mother at one of our family get togethers at our grandfather’s house. Turned out Mother had made the tea. The difference in the taste was from the well water there vs. our well water.
We did not have a parsonage and none of the pastors for our small country church lived in the community or even close by, so the ladies in the church took turns providing dinner on Sundays and during revivals. This always included extra cleaning beforehand also. Guess Mother wanted to prove “cleanliness is next to Godliness.”
And then there were the “dinner on the grounds” when each family brought enough food to feed the whole church, or so it seemed. This tradition continues at the church we attend now with “potluck” dinners! One of my cousins had to know who prepared each dish, since she thought some of the ladies were not very good housekeepers and the food would not be prepared in a clean kitchen.
Good housekeepers or not, some of the best food you could eat was at those dinners. It wasn’t fancy like some serve today, but it was delicious, especially the cakes, from scratch of course, and pies.
At one Sunday dinner, the current pastor had a 2-year-old son and we had a rowdy dog. Although the dogs and cats were not allowed in the house, somehow the dog was inside that Sunday. The dog kept chasing and licking the little boy until he finally declared, “Dog, me no bone!”
I know now there were times when we didn’t have much money to spend on food, but with gardens, raising cattle and hogs, and good neighbors, no one went hungry.
And Sunday dinner is still the meal right after church!
Source: The Good Ol Days