After the fun and frolics of last weekend it was our turn to host family members for Sunday lunch and we were determined to ensure that it was a positive experience for everyone.
We had some advantages over the Old Man in preparing the Sunday meal, though. For a start, we knew how many were coming and, in addition, we had a clear idea of exactly when they would arrive, because this was Claire’s side of the family: her mum and dad, and her brother Richard and wife Pauline.
Roast dinners are something of a British badge of honour: doing a Sunday roast is a competitive business. Everyone believes theirs or their mum’s or their granny’s is the best. But I am confident that my wife does the best Sunday lunch around. And I think perhaps this might be one deep-seated reason why I enjoy growing vegetables: namely so that I feel that I have contributed in some way to the creation of a Claire Sunday roast dinner.
So today we had some fabulous roast potatoes (the King Edwards still going well), cabbage, carrots, swede and brussels from the garden. They were so good, even Richard ate some Brussels. In addition, Claire made a blackberry and apple crumble with locally sourced blackberries, and I managed to use up some of the glut of eggs that the hens are providing at the moment, by making a rich bread and butter pudding with extra custard.
So a simply planned meal was delivered on time, using local produce to a set number of guests. But then Claire’s side of the family are always a little more organised than mine. For example, much of the conversation was taken up with planning for who was going where in February of next year when Claire’s father turns 90, one sister is getting married and another is coming over from Australia for a few weeks. Planning for every eventuality is essential, but one half of the family will be prepared.