Another day off work, another wasted afternoon. Well, not entirely wasted, I did get my tax done (in spite of the kitten’s best efforts to tear my tax forms to shreds – I understand the feeling, kitty, I understand the feeling). But, after a swim, a few hours on Skype and my tax, I was once again at a loss as to what to do, completing forgetting that I had been composing this blog post (this MASTERPIECE) for the past few days on the underground. And I had wasted all that extra writing time by watching ‘The Truth About Cats and Dogs’! Which is, lets admit it, a very nice film, but not really worth watching the amount of times I have watched in my lifetime. Anyways, so here I am, attempting another summing up of this ‘foreign’ British culture through an intriguing and quirky tradition. Which is not going well, because I couldn’t bear to switch off ‘The Truth About Cats and Dogs’ and its more than a little distracting. Uma Thurman was just dressed as a milk maid. I mean, I like guys, but that’s still a distracting site.
But, yes, here goes, the Sunday Roast.
So, the Sunday Roast is certainly something that I had heard of previously. It’s a phrase that’s bandied about back home, in particular by people such as my grandmother. But, as a ‘thing’, I thought that the Sunday Roast had gone the way of Sunday School and white picket fences and 1950s and hat boxes.
But, no, in the UK, the Sunday Roast lives on. It is a ‘Thing’. Or even a ‘THING’, really (honestly, it deserves all capitals, its so big a THING). And I did not know this until I started working at the pub.
So, I had to have a break for dinner and wine and I am trying this post again. The thing is, I did spend many days composing the opening of this post in my head, but after I had composed the ‘thing’ line, I didn’t really have any ideas as to where I was going next. And, to be honest, the ‘thing’ line wasn’t even that could to begin with.
But, the Sunday Roast is a ‘THING’. Every Sunday, families descend on The Windmill on the Common in their many many numbers to choose between a Roast Chicken, Roast Lamb, Roast Pork or Roast Beef (there is also the Veg Wellington, which I can HIGHLY recommend, but not many people go for it. It is not very ‘traditional’. Sorry, that should be ‘TRADITIONAL’). You get beautiful roast veggies and gravy and excellent service (even if I do say so myself) on top of it all.
The Sunday Roast is an odd thing to have to deal with as a vegetarian. On my first Sunday, I was confronted with a variety of sauces, the likes of which I (thought) had not seen before. I knew each sauce must have a corresponding meat, but I didn’t know which went with which. There seemed to some kind of poppyseed sauce, a creamy sauce and an apple sauce. Plus, there are many mustards. And your standard tartare, ketchup and mayo. (The Brits are big on the sauces. Does this deserve another blog post?) I also couldn’t tell which meat was which, unless I repeated, for example, ‘Roast Beef right, Roast Lamb left’, over and over under my breath like a crazy person as I walked away from the kitchen and tried to find the table where the Roast Beef and Roast Lamb was heading. I eventually worked out that Roast Pork had crackling on top, making it easy to spot, but the Roast Beef and Roast Lamb still cause me confusion. About halfway through my first day I realised the sauce I had identified as ‘poppyseed’ was in fact ‘mint’, meaning it went with the lamb (my gran was a big fan of Roast Lamb. Well, I think, actually, she was a big fan of mint, and mint went with Roast Lamb, so she was a big fan of Lamb. Seriously, everything about my wonderful gran was mint. Minties, Mint Slice, Mint Sauce, XXXX breath mints, after dinner mints…. The only exception she made was for the occasional Werther’s Original).
Bah. I don’t know what I’m doing with this post. I’m a bit tipsy and a bit bored and I think my main point was made a few paragraphs ago, really. The Sunday Roast, something that I though was dead and gone, lives on in Britain. Just like the class system and… I don’t know… royalty.
Stay tuned for more ground-breaking reportage from Britain tomorrow.