Britain has a noble tradition known as Sunday Roast. This is a large afternoon meal eaten after church, or in the case of me and my friends, after dragging oneself out of bed after a late Saturday night.
There are two ways to have Sunday Roast: either your mum cooks it for you, or you go out to a pub. However, recently one of my friends had the ingenius suggestion that we should have a rotational Sunday Roast system; we should make it at a different person’s house each week.
In mulling this over, I thought that not only was it a fabulous idea but I also realized that I hadn’t yet had a housewarming party for my new abode. Which is why I’m about to cook Sunday Roast for ten people. (Eleven, including me.)
As usual, I went through the phase of thinking it was a brilliant plan and wanting to invite everyone I knew, then realizing that since I’d never cooked Sunday roast before so I’d been a tad overambitious in how many people I was prepared to cook for, then panicking about how things were going to go, then starting the preparations and realizing everything would be okay.
I’m sitting in the kitchen assessing my tools: bottles of olive oil and cider vinegar, canisters of salt and pepper, apples cut up in preparation for becoming applesauce, Yorkshire pudding mix. And the three dishes I prepared yesterday: vegetables, filling two baking dishes to the brim, ready for roasting. A roasting tin lined with carrots, celery and onion to lift the roast off the bottom, topped by the roast itself, a behemoth of a pork loin stuffed with garlic and apples, rubbed with spices.
My guests will be arriving in just over an hour; the plan is to have food on the table around 2. Except we won’t have enough room at the table for everyone, so I’m hoping against hope that the weather will be warm and clear enough for us to sit on the picnic table and the garden steps. We’ve been promised sunshine by the Met office, but at the moment I’m anxiously peering up at the clouds and wishing they would propel themselves elsehwere.
It may be a slightly unconventional Sunday Roast, but the key elements will all be there: good friends, a house full of warmth and enticing smells, and lots and lots of wine.