As I a child growing up in Gisborne we always had a roast for lunch on Sunday. Usually a leg of hogget with roast potatoes, pumpkin, kumera, real homemade gravy plus fresh vegetables.
I got to thinking the other day that my children missed out on this, perhaps we did have Sunday roast dinner when they were very young but I certainly do not remember cooking a huge Sunday lunch. As I pondered this I thought that perhaps this is something I should look to resurrect. I could now invite my children and grandchildren over for a Sunday roast – I used to love Sunday roast for lunch.
Then as I thought on I realised that I was looking back through rose tinted glasses – I did not really like Sunday roast for lunch at all. Firstly we had the same meal every Sunday lunchtime. Rain, hail or shine and then we had leftovers on Monday night made into a sort of casserole, and sliced up and put into sandwiches for school lunches. Hogget was NOT lamb and no matter what we were doing we were called to lunch at 1.00pm, not a minute earlier, not a minute later, to sit down for a hot roast dinner, even when it was 40 degrees in the shade (and when I just wanted cold meat and salad). I now remember that I used the resent the fact that we were seldom excused from eating that roast, I do not remember it ever being roast beef, or roast pork, it always seemed to be hogget, and sometimes it was not tender, not juicy and just plain awful- the mint sauce and gravy were the only redeeming features. I remember stringy beans, horrible pumpkin with bits in it – we may have had cauliflower and probably cabbage but it was always boiled and mushy. We never had guests, it was really a chore that we had to endure because it was a family tradition. No I will not resurrect that Sunday roast tradition!
Would you believe it – a few days after I had been reminiscing I picked up a local magazine in the supermarket and there was a well known South Island cooking celebrity beaming from the cover with the headlines -” Let’s Bring Back the Sunday Family Dinner!” A quick scan of the article quickly revealed that her Sunday Lunches bore no resemblance to those of my childhood – hmmm – but they looked like hard work with hours of cooking involved.
No – think I will stick to quick, easy light and healthy Sunday lunches – if my family join us for Sunday lunch we will have salads, fruit, cold meats, fish or if it is a cold winter’s day a hearty soup. We will enjoy a glass of wine or an ale and we will enjoy each others company as that is what was always best about Sunday lunches – good company with good food. Besides who can afford hogget these days – come to think of it I cannot remember when I last saw a leg of hogget for sale!