Good Food Blog
Sit-down SundaysPosted at 12:38PM, 09 March 2010 by Carol Wilson - Food writer
Does anyone still make a Sunday roast dinner with all the trimmings? I certainly do, but a quick poll among friends and colleagues revealed that the great British Sunday Roast is becoming a thing of the past. It's yet another quintessential tradition and domestic ritual that appears to be vanishing into history.
It seems that preparing a dinner takes up too much time or it's too much bother to cook, or maybe its down to lack of cooking skills - although there's no excuse with so many excellent cookbooks out there. Sunday has become just another day for shopping or working, rather than sitting round the dinner table and a roast dinner is regarded as being for special occasions such as Easter or Christmas.
I think this is a real shame. When I was a child, everyone I knew enjoyed a Sunday roast and the smell of roasting meat wafted enticingly from every kitchen. A survey conducted by the Future Foundation and the Institute for Social and Economic Research for Gallo Family Vineyards revealed that less than 6 million of us now sit down to a home cooked dinner, compared to 12.7 million in 1961.
You can't beat a home-cooked roast dinner - it's the culinary highlight of my week!
Generally, people prefer to have a midday brunch or eat out at the local pub instead. There are long established restaurants that specialise in traditional English roasts, such as Rules in Covent Garden (the oldest restaurant in London) and Roast, which are both first-rate, but unfortunately the Sunday meals at some pubs and restaurants leave a lot to be desired. All too often they feature indifferent meat, leathery roast potatoes and tasteless soggy vegetables. Meat in particular needs to be of good quality to remain tender and succulent during roasting.
You just can't beat a home cooked roast dinner - it's the culinary highlight of my week! Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding has always been my favourite choice, closely followed by roast pork with golden crisp crackling, tender roast lamb and a succulent plump stuffed chicken.
I even enjoy the preparation involved to produce crunchy roast potatoes, delicious seasonal vegetables from the farmers' market, stuffing (packet or homemade) and proper gravy (definitely no gravy granules!) and of course a delicious pudding for afters. Old fashioned Apple pie or Crumble and ice cream are my family's favourites. It's nice to sit round the table with family and friends, enjoying a leisurely meal and listening to the conversation flow. It's a time to relax and forget about the diet for a day!
Do you still sit down to a Sunday Roast dinner?
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