One of my best memories growing up is sitting down as a family every Sunday for a roast dinner. My sister and I would go to church with my Mum on a Sunday morning and my Dad would stay at home doing jobs around the garden with a note on the kitchen table instructing him what time to switch the oven on and put the meat in. By the time we got home we were always welcomed by an amazing smell of meat roasting when we opened the door.
But it seems like the traditional home cooked Sunday roast is falling out of favour and that weekend family meals are more about easy take aways or meals out.
I enjoy going out to the local pub or carvery for a roast as much as the next person (if not more!) but it’s so expensive in comparison to eating at home, and you miss out on the benefit of the leftovers too!
Since having children I have been conscious of the importance of sitting down to eat as a family as often as possible. I’m really lucky that my husband works really close to home so we are able to eat all together almost every evening, but I know that many are not that lucky, and so the opportunity to eat together at weekends is golden. What better way is there for your children to learn good table manners and conversation than by sitting down together and sharing stories and thoughts while eating yummy home cooked food.
This week we had roast chicken. I got a medium chicken from Waitrose as part of the 3 for £10 offer, and there was not only enough meat on it for dinner for the family last night (2 adults and 2 children) but also Daddy Saving Money had leftovers in his sandwich for lunch today and the remainder went into a risotto for tonight’s dinner.
In fact, the total cost of our Sunday dinner this week was £5.73. That included chicken, stuffing, roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots, brocolli, cabbage and apple strudel for pudding. If we’d gone to the (albeit quite good value) carvery down the road, it would have cost us £23.16 for the roasts plus about the same again for drinks and puddings. The kids would have got bored in the queue and it probably wouldn’t have been the relaxing family meal out we all dream of!!
I know it takes a bit more effort to cook at home than to go out for dinner, but there is very little skill needed to successfully cook a roast. You basically stick it in the oven, set a timer and forget about it until the timer beeps! If in doubt, consult Delia who is the Queen of traditional cooking and roasts!
So next time you think about going out for a Sunday roast, at least consider cooking it at home instead. Even if you buy a more expensive joint of beef or lamb, it will still be cheaper than eating out. And always buy a slightly bigger piece of meat than you need, as the opportunities with leftovers are endless…pie, risotto, curry, pizza toppings…yum yum!!