“The Sunday Roast”
Thinking of the Sunday Roast reminds me that Thanksgiving is just around the corner even though we do not celebrate it here in Australia. Growing up, the Sunday Roast was not only a tradition in my family but it was also in many other homes. Up until just a few years ago we kept this tradition going (whether it was just our family at home or a gathering at the grandparent’s houses).
Unfortunately, times have changed. People are working longer and irregular hours. Even the teenagers are also working their weekends away or in some cases they have so much pressure to do well at school. The kids these days have a lot of homework and assignments or they are studying for their next exam. Then of course there are the sports. Finding a balance can be hard.
In my opinion, we should bring back the Sunday Roast. Now I know what you are thinking: “Fiona, you just gave all the reasons why we can’t do it. Life is just so busy!” You are right, life is busy, but sometimes you just have to make the time! It doesn’t have to be Sunday lunch. It could be any meal throughout the 7 days. If you were able to pick a regular day each week that would be great if not it is okay to mix it up each week or at least once a month….
I can also hear you saying, “But, a roast is time consuming. I don’t want to be cleaning up such a big mess.” That is totally understandable, no-one enjoys that part.
So here are 9 good reasons for having a Sunday Roast especially if you have kids:
(Please take into consideration age appropriateness!)
Teaching the kids how to cook
By cooking your own roast instead of buying precooked you have the opportunity to teach your kids or even your grandchildren how to cook. They will learn things like:
Safety in the kitchen
- Hot surfaces (cook top, oven, fry-pan, hot water etc)
- Sharpe object like knives
- If something is spilled you need to clean it up straight away. This is especially important if spilled on the floor as we don’t want anyone slipping over.
- Washing hands before starting
- Peeling, slicing and dicing vegetables
- Washing your vegetables to get any dirt or chemicals off them
- Not using the same cutting board or knives with raw meat and vegetables
By teaching them how to cook you are giving them a life skill. It’s great to know that when the kids leave home they are able to cook for themselves rather than buying takeaway all the time. Takeaway is not only bad for their health but who can afford to do that, so why not give them that basic skill.
- By cooking a roast they learn that not everything will be cooked within the same time frame
- It takes time and effort to produce a wonderful meal
- They may even learn to appreciate the wonderful meals you produce
- They get to spend such quality time with you. Life is short; we do not know what tomorrow will bring.
Use the Good Stuff
Long gone are the days where you need to keep the good dinnerware for having guest around. It’s time to realise that we are worth using it, otherwise it just sits in the cupboard collecting dust. There are so many beautiful disposable plates out there these days for when you do have guests around, so dust them off and let’s use the good stuff!
If you have little kids you obviously don’t want them using your good dinnerware but that doesn’t mean that you can’t.
Have the kids set the table. Teach them:
- Which plates and cutlery pieces you will need
- When using the cutlery, work from the outside in
- Elbows off the table
- Using their manners
- Such a great time to catch up on everything that is going on in their lives
While working in the kitchen it gives the opportunity to teach kids to clean as they go. Such a great habit to get into as it makes the final cleanup after the meal so much easier to deal with.
The Art of Conversation
There are so many things that you can talk about while organising your Sunday Roast. Some of which we have already spoken about:
- Safety in the kitchen
- Food prep
- How long certain foods need to cook (setting a timer)
- How to set the table
- Cleaning up as you go
- Learning about new foods
- Difference between fresh and dried herbs
- Serving size
- Self serve
- Table Etiquette
And the list can go on!
If you have read this far and you are thinking “Fiona, that is all good and well but I just don’t have the time for it!” I would then start simple:
- Buy a precooked chicken or roast beef
- Buy the frozen baked vegetables (this way you only have to put them on a tray and into the oven)
These two things are probably the most time consuming things out of this type of meal (whether it is the peeling of vegetables, the time in the oven or having to clean the trays). By buying precooked meat and frozen vegetables you will not only cut your time down but it will also give you the chance to teach the kids most of these great lessons.
I would love to know do you do a Sunday Roast? Have you ever thought about what you could be teaching the kids while just cooking dinner? Leave a comment below and let us know!