Sunday Family Dinner

family_dinner_tableWhen I was a kid, we saw my mom’s parents all the time.  They lived just a few miles away so we often saw them during the week when they came to our various games.  On those nights, because Grandma always seemed to be on some new diet, Grandpa was excited to eat whatever junk food was being served at the snack bar, but at least twice a month, my grandparents would come to our house for a proper Sunday dinner.

My Mom didn’t have a big cooking repertoire, so dinner would be one of a four things:

  1. Roast on her counter top Farberware rotisserie;
  2. Flank or Top Sirloin Steak marinated with an envelope of Lawry’s tenderizing marinade for beef then grilled on the BBQ;
  3. Spaghetti.  Her Bolognese was one of the few things she made from scratch and my Grandpa Bob loved it; or
  4. Meatloaf.  Another basic meal that, inexplicably,  my grandparents loved coming over for.

Unless we were having spaghetti, we always had some version of the same side dishes:

  • Green salad tossed in Bob’s Bleu Cheese or Thousand Island Dressing bobsbcdressingbobs1000dressing
  • Some type of boxed potato she could throw in the oven
  • Rice-A-Roni
  • Peas, Broccoli with cheese sauce, or corn

I wasn’t kidding, cooking was not her thing.

If she was making dessert it was one of a very few things:

  • Basking Robbins Ice Cream
  • Frosted Cake
  • Cookies
  • Cherry Surprise

You may be asking yourself, what in the world is Cherry Surprise?  It was Mom’s go-to, minimal effort, no-bake, bring to any occasion dessert:

  • 2 Angel Food Loaf Cakes or 1 Angel Food Round Cake
  • 1 Large Box Instant Vanilla Pudding
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 16 oz Sour Cream
  • 2 Cans Comstock Cherry Pie Filling
  • Reddy-Whip Canned Whipped Cream or a Tub of Cool Whip Thawed

Assembly Directions

  1. Tear the angel food cake into small chunks and put the pieces into a 9″ x 12″ Pyrexafcake baking dish
  2. In a medium bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer) combine the milk, sour cream, and pudding.  Mix on low until combined then switch to high and mix another 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally, until pudding is thick and fluffy.
  3. Using a rubber spatula, spread all of the pudding mixture over the cake layerpudding-layer.  Tap the baking dish against the counter to help the pudding settle into pockets between the pieces of cake.
  4. Pour the contents of both cans of cherry pie filling over the top of the pudding layer, spreading to evenly distribute the cherries
  5. Cover loosely and refrigerate for at least 2 hours
  6. Scoop portions onto plate and top with whipped creamcherry-delight

Simple, but always a crowd pleaser.

I try and do Sunday dinner but tonight didn’t even live up to Mom’s limited menus, I ordered pizza.  To be fair, we did eat it together as a family while watching Sunday night football. 😉

I’ll do better tomorrow.

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