I love Sunday lunch, I always have. Growing up in our house Sunday lunch was a big deal – a chance for family, extended family, friends and visitors to get together and swap news, laugh, celebrate, remember, argue, and – of course – eat and drink. I have carried this tradition on now that I have my own family and most weeks we will have Sunday lunch. More often than not it is a roast chicken around the kitchen table, but every now and again it is a grander affair – yesterday was one of those times.
I love the ritual and ceremony of the Sunday roast. The morning spent preparing veg to the gentle burble of Radio 2. Setting the table with extra care, fishing out some linen instead if the usual kitchen paper. The waft of cooking smells that make your mouth water and the first sip of ice cold wine once you know that everything is in the oven and on schedule.
Yesterday we had roast Dorset beef from our local butcher with all the trimmings. Crisp roasties, pillowy Yorkshires, buttery greens and tangy cauliflower gratin. A huge jug of marsala gravy and we were good to go.
Even though you think you are full, there is always room for pudding! I love to have a chocolate and lemon combo on the table and yesterday lemon meringue pie and chocolate brownies fitted the bill perfectly. One light and fruity, the other rich and sweet – both with a dollop of smooth, thick cream.
Weirdly, I even quite enjoy the post-lunch clearing up. Just me and the radio (4 Extra for a good play or Radio 1 if I’m feeling in a ‘down with the kids’ mood) and the chance to put my thoughts in row and plan the week ahead. When it’s all washed up there is nothing better than than cup of tea with the papers.
Do you have any favourite mealtime rituals?