Even for me, as a person who actually enjoys cooking, preparing meals day in and day out, I find I need a bit of a break every week.
This has been a problem for me for many years. How to prepare decent meals on Sundays, while on a small-ish budget, without adding to my workload. There should be one day per week, when the cook has a lighter load. Right?
So, on a budget, using what we have, and not making extra work, this is what I've come up with for now.
Sunday breakfast is made on Saturday evening, while putting together Saturday's dinner, in the form of crockpot oatmeal. It's cheap. It's easy. It provides leftovers for Monday's breakfast. And breakfast is hot and ready when the earliest bird gets up, yet still hot and ready for the sleepyheads in the family. And on Sunday morning, I don't have to do a thing. Did I mention that it's cheap?! Crockpot oatmeal is creamier and a bit more gummy than oatmeal quickly done in the microwave or on the stove. But we're okay with that (in fact, the creaminess is actually preferred by one family member).
On Saturday afternoon, while preparing dinner, I dump the oats, salt, sugar, butter, water, nuts, spices, chopped fruit or pureed vegetables into the crockpot. I don't turn it on until just before I go to bed, at 10 or 11. I set it for 6 hours, at which point it switches over to WARM. On Sunday mornings, I set a stack of bowls on the counter, along with a big spoon, and let everyone help themselves. Yesterday's oatmeal was pumpkin-pecan-spice.
Lunches are more problematic than breakfasts, for us. Our family gets home from church around 1 or 1:30, leaving a small window of time for my two daughters to eat quickly before heading out for choir practice. This leaves me with about 5 minutes from walking in the door, to lunch on plates on the table. I really don't like to "use up" my freezer stash of pre-made meals. Added to that, my go-to, quick, cheap, and easy-to-fix weekday lunch ideas are rather tired by the weekend. (How many PBJ sandwiches can a person eat in a week? Besides, I'm usually trying to spare the bread.)
I am often stuck for an idea. My best solution, lately, has been to just make lots of dinner, on Saturday, for leftovers to eat for Sunday lunch. Those of you who are empty-nesters or pre-nesters, may not have any difficulty making enough of any one dinner for leftovers. In our house, the leftovers are often scarce. So, I usually need to supplement whatever leftovers there are, with other odds and ends needing to be eaten. So far, it's working out, although not at all original in composition.
Sunday dinner. This is supposed to be that big family feast. A beef or pork roast, a roasted chicken, something impressive and conducive to the making of family memories. Not going to happen here. On Sundays, my day of rest, that all sounds too exhausting to me.
Managing. I've been sticking with very simple meals for Sunday dinners. A few weeks ago, it was chips, refried beans, rice, carrot sticks and oranges. Last week it was pre-cooked burgers on buns, with frozen veggies. Last night, I made breakfast for dinner, of pancakes, sausage and oranges.
The bonus to these simpler Sunday meals is very little kitchen clean-up, afterwards. After dinner, last night, clean-up consisted of me rinsing the griddle and setting it back on the burners, and washing out the skillet from the sausages.
That's how I've been managing my Sunday meals. How do you manage Sunday meals in your house? Do you do anything differently on Sundays than you do the rest of the week?