Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Tea

Years ago, I felt compelled to continue the traditions I had been raised with -  namely the Sunday Afternoon Dinner.  You know the one - Roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, freshly baked rolls - the tradition many of us grew up cherishing.  I loved walking in from church and breathing in the heady aromas emanating from my cozy kitchen.  I loved the familiarity of Sunday Dinner and the memories it would build for my children.  I loved that I always had dinner in the oven for spur of the moment hospitality opportunities.  But I didn't love the work - the hurried, even frantic Sunday mornings spent barking out orders to my children, just to keep things moving along so that I could have everything ready before we walked out the door for church.  I didn't love the mountains of dishes that awaited me after our big dinner.  And I didn't love never really getting a day of rest.

And so, I changed our tradition.  I began to cook our big family dinner on Saturday.  I varied the menu and rotated between roast, ham, chicken and even pork chops.   Knowing there would be leftovers, I began to plan soups for Sunday dinner.  Making roll dough the night before, I was able to turn Sunday into a true day of rest.  Now, Sunday morning is peaceful, no rushing or hurrying about and with a big pot of soup on the stove and rolls raising in the warming oven, we always have a meal ready for guests.  Sunday has become restful indeed.

Every once in a while, instead of soup, I will make Tea on Sunday afternoon.  Tea is generally light, not involving a lot of work.  Sunday Tea, served on our best china, bathed in firelight, is the highlight of a dreary winter afternoon.

This Sunday, Maid Elizabeth and I served a simple tea of Bacon Onion Galette and Biscuits with Raspberry Jam.  A Galette is nothing more than a savory, rustic tart with a fancy name.  It is quite simple to make - here is a rough recipe.

Bacon Onion Galette

1 pound bacon, chopped (or bacon bits)
3 large sweet onions
1/3 C butter (optional)
2 bulbs garlic, chopped
1 tsp. (or more to taste) Dijon Mustard
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 C Parmesan cheese

1 pie crust (I used my buttermilk pie crust recipe cut in half).

Chop bacon into small chunks and saute in large saucepan until just beginning to cook.  Add onion, sliced into rings.  Cover and continue to cook for 15 minutes, adding butter if more fat is needed.  Remove cover and continue to saute, adding chives (optional) and garlic.  Saute until the onions until they are caramelized.  Add the Dijon mustard and salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Roll out pie crust into a rectangle (on a cookie sheet or rectangle baking stone).  Sprinkle the crust with about 1/3 C Parmesan.  Pour the onion/bacon mixture into the middle of the pie crust and spread to within 2 inches of the edge.  Sprinkle with another 1/3 C of Parmesan.  Fold the excess pie crust back onto the Galette.

Bake at 350° for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven, sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 C Parmesan and return to the oven for 15 more minutes.  Serve warm.

Sauteing the bacon

Adding onions

Almost there...

Rolling out the pie crust

Parmesan added

I spread out the bacon/onion mixture and sprinkled with Parmesan

The crust has been folded over the Galette

Biscuits fresh from the wood cookstove

Tea is served!

This Galette is rich - you can only eat a small piece - but it is wonderfully flavorful!  Served with veg and a biscuit, it is perfect for Sunday Tea.


  1. What a lovely meal for a Sunday afternoon, it looks delicious! We love your recipes and this one looks like a keeper as well!
    I agree, I too love the big Sunday meal, but hate the heavy cleanup when I would really like to "rest" and spend some quality time with Hubby and kids before we begin another busy Monday. We will be giving your Galette a try soon!
    Thank you for the inspiration- MomLady

  2. Yes, I can see and smell the Sunday dinners you talked about. It was a roast dinner or fried chicken w/the works. Pleasant memories and as you said, a lot of work. I like the new tradition, relaxed and laid back. What will be remembered is the family time. Your recipe & accompanying photos look, and sound, delicious. Will have to give this a try. Thank you for sharing. :o)

  3. I gave up on the big Sunday dinner several years. Now we have either frozen piazza with a salad, a big bowl of soup or a do-it-yourself chef's salad. I make a dessert the day before to make it more special, but I get so complaints. The more relaxed meal makes the day more about worship and less about eating too much and zonking out all afternoon.