When we were kids, Mom spent every Monday while we were at school cleaning the three-story house, washing all the laundry and ironing all the clothes. As you can imagine, that took a long time and was pretty tiring. It also didn’t allow much time to stand over a hot stove making a dinner that required a lot of detail and attention.
Because of that, she got into the habit of making pretty much the same thing every Monday night: barbecue baked chicken, baked potatoes, Jello with banana slices in it, and a vegetable (usually peas, green beans or corn). She’s made several comments over the years that she wonders if we got bored with that or wondered if it bothered us to have the same thing every Monday, but that was never the case. In fact, it’s how we knew it was Monday!
I remember coming in from school every Monday and smelling the glorious smell of barbecue chicken with the baked potatoes and knew a predictably yummy dinner would be served soon. I think it’s easy to confuse predictable with plain and the barbecue sauce gave it just enough zing that it was far from plain! It was a healthy dinner that didn’t taste “healthy” (in a kid’s mind, healthy=icky).
A few days ago, my husband and I were headed to my parents’ house for the Christmas holiday and I got a text message from dad telling us we were having Monday Night Dinner for supper that night. My husband thought my excitement was pretty funny, especially when he found out what a simple meal it is. Simple or not, my brother and I both know what “Monday Night Dinner” is and we love it.
I always just assumed the impact that Monday Night Dinner had was that we got one of our favorite meals on a regular basis. But as an adult, I realize that deep down it also meant stability, healthy predictability and yes, yummy food that was made with love.
I’m curious, are there any meals your family had that has special meaning? Share in the comments!