Sunday Supper

For select Southern families, Sunday supper has stood the test of time and remains an iconic and long-standing tradition. Meet the people that put family first and continue to gather around the dinner table, week in and week out, to enjoy each other’s company and some seriously delicious food.

 

By  Christina Cannon

Photography by  Rich Smith

The Ralston Family
(also dubbed “The Village”)

EAST BRAINERD

This nuclear family takes its Sunday supper to a whole new level by inviting friends, parents, and even neighbors to attend gatherings. What began with the Ralston children carpooling to school with family friends, the Goins, has turned into a three-year-old tradition of also eating together several times a week. At a Village gathering, you will likely find one parent fetching the children while another one whips up
a tasty meal that ranges from stir-fry and soup to pasta and chicken Parmesan.

 

Street Corn Soup

Yields: 6-8 servings

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 cups fresh corn kernels (reserve 6 of the stripped cobs for simmering in the soup)
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. ancho chili powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup grated Cotija cheese, plus additional for garnish
  • 1-2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2-3 Tbsp. cilantro, plus additional for garnish
  • 1-2 tsp. grated lime zest, plus additional for garnish
  • Salt, pepper, and chili powder, to taste

DIRECTIONS

Heat oil in a large, nonstick pot or cast iron Dutch oven until simmering. Add corn kernels, chopped onion, chili powder, kosher salt, and black pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and corn is lightly charred in spots, about 8-10 minutes.

Add garlic and cook roughly 1 minute until fragrant. Remove 1 1/2 cups of corn mixture from the pot and set aside. Add broth and 6 stripped corn cobs to the pot, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Use tongs to remove corn cobs from pot and discard.

Stir sour cream or Greek yogurt and cheese into the soup. Use an immersion blender or food processor to purée until smooth. Return soup to pot and if needed, gently reheat to desired serving temperature. Stir in half of the reserved corn mixture, lime juice, and 2 Tbsp. of chopped cilantro. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and chili powder.

Toss remaining 3/4 cup corn with lime zest and 1 Tbsp. of chopped cilantro. Serve soup topped with a few spoonfuls of the corn mixture and an extra sprinkling of Cotija cheese. Top with additional cilantro, jalapeño, or other toppings as desired!

 

The Davis Family

SODDY-DAISY

Julie Davis grew up meeting at her grandmother’s house for lunch every Sunday following church. Many years and life events later, Julie keeps the tradition going by hosting four generations at her home on Sunday evenings as a way to recharge before the work week. A gathering at the Davis household will likely feature more food than people, and if you’re lucky, you will get a taste of Julie’s famed stuffed peppers or her hallmark homemade pizza.

 

Homemade Pizza

Yields: 8-10 servings

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Chef Boyardee Double Pizza Maker Kit (designed for 2 pizzas)
  • 1 lb. breakfast sausage (can also use ground turkey, ground beef, grilled chicken, or ham)
  • Olive or vegetable oil, for greasing
  • 1 (15 oz.) can Chef Boyardee pizza sauce with cheese (optional)
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (4 oz.) can or jar mushrooms, chopped
  • 2-4 oz. sliced black olives
  • 1 package pepperoni
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425°. Prepare crust in kit per directions on the box but do not divide. Cover with a dish towel and set aside in a warm, dark place. Brown sausage in a skillet on the stove and drain off any excess grease. Set aside.

Generously grease a 5-quart casserole dish with oil. Take prepared dough, place it in the casserole dish, and use greased fingers to spread the dough over the bottom of the dish. Add pizza sauce included in the kit and spread over dough, leaving an edge around the perimeter. Add additional can of sauce if desired. Sprinkle sausage and vegetables over the sauce and top with pepperoni. Sprinkle cheese over the top of the pizza, continuing to leave an edge for the crispy crust.

Place dish in preheated oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, then broil for the last 2-3 minutes in order to brown crust. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting into squares.

*Chef’s Note: “My family loves this dish for its versatility. It can be done on a shoestring budget or with the most fresh and expensive gourmet ingredients you can find to fit your taste. It truly is a one-size-fits-all pizza.”

The Johnson Family

BRAINERD

Raised on the tradition of weekly family meals, Bernice Johnson wanted her children to have the same experience and has been hosting regular family gatherings for over 50 years. As grandchildren entered the mix, Bernice began to use the weekly meals to catch up with her family that was always on the go, and she loves continuing family history through shared stories. A typical Sunday supper at the Johnson household regularly features four generations of family and once boasted more than 40 family members and friends.

 

Granny’s Cornbread Dressing

Yields: 8-10 servings

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup melted butter or margarine, divided
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • Crumbled cornbread (recipe below)
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 1 tsp. parsley flakes
  • 1 Tbsp. poultry seasoning (can sub sage)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 1/2-4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°. In a small pan over medium heat, sauté onions, celery, and bell peppers in 3 Tbsp. of melted butter or margarine until soft, stirring often, 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, add crumbled cornbread, vegetables, seasonings and spices, and remaining melted butter. Pour in 3 cups of chicken stock and stir to combine. Gradually add in the rest of the chicken stock if needed so that the cornbread is moist. Add in beaten egg and stir until well-combined. Pour mixture into a 2-quart casserole dish and bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes on your oven’s middle rack. Remove from oven and cover. Allow to sit for 30 minutes before serving.

Crumbled cornbread:

  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil or melted butter, divided
  • 2 cups self-rising cornmeal mix
  • 1/2 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 360°. Grease an 8-inch round pan or 8×8-inch square pan with 1 Tbsp. oil or melted butter. In a medium-sized bowl, mix remainder of ingredients until slightly smooth. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes on the top rack of your oven. Remove from oven and cool completely.

The Sawrie Family

SIGNAL MOUNTAIN

Sunday supper has always been a constant in Lucy Sawrie’s life. Growing up as a child in England, Lucy’s family would gather weekly for a traditional English meal. After moving to the States when she was 8 years old, Lucy’s family continued the practice, and to this day, three generations gather regularly for the family’s customary roast beef and Yorkshire pudding – a recipe that has been passed down for years. With a weekly meal also being a tradition in husband Daniel’s upbringing, the Sawries enjoy placing an emphasis on family time and hope that their three young children will one day grow to carry on the tradition.

 

Yorkshire Pudding

Yields: 12 servings

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 oz. plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 oz. milk
  • 1 3/4 oz. water
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Beef drippings from a roast

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425°. To make the batter, sift flour into a bowl and make a well in the center. Break the egg into the well and gently beat the egg into the flour, adding milk, water, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

After removing your roast from the oven, spoon a small amount of hot beef drippings into each hole of a 12-hole muffin tin. Then, fill each hole about halfway with batter. Place into oven and bake until the pudding cups rise up and look crisp on the top, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from pan and serve immediately with your roast beef and gravy.

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