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The Sunday Roast



Easter Sunday we found ourselves in Cardiff, Wales at a delightful vegetarian restaurant called Milgi. We enjoyed the featured entrée of the day which was a vegetarian roast. It consisted of Perl Las, Leek, and Spinach Filo Parcels, carrot and cumin puree, Blaencamel sesame roasted roots, smoked paprika potatoes, spring greens with toasted buckwheat, and tomato with saffron sauce. It was fantastic.

I am old enough to remember (yet young enough to have not forgotten) having a roast for dinner every Sunday.

There was a time in America when nothing was open on Sundays. No grocery stores. No liquor stores. No gas stations. No retail stores. Nothing was open.

Okay, I shouldn’t say nothing was open. Church was open. And church was doing a booming business. I remember it being all about God. The other two guys in the Holy Trinity only got passing references. God said to do this or God said not to do that. God told Jesus what to do and Jesus towed the line.

Today we’re all, “What would Jesus do?” What did he look like? Was he married? Did he have a girlfriend? How was he as a carpenter? Yet despite all the focus on Jesus, people don’t go to church nearly as much as they used to.

My mother must have been ahead of her time because she was not a churchgoer. In fact, she might still be sleeping when my Dad and I got home from church. She needed the extra rest to be able to get up and make the Sunday roast.

It was not a fancy dinner. The meat was usually roast beef, ham, chicken, lamb, or pork. The potatoes were either mashed or baked. For vegetables, we had our own holy trinity: winter squash, green beans, and carrots, but only one per meal. There was neither bread nor rolls. There was usually homemade gravy with chicken or lamb.

Though my mother was a reluctant cook, she had the roast down pat. I think it was because leftovers seemed to last until Friday. Fewer meals to cook after Sunday. Toward the end of the week, my parents would cut up the meat and serve it right in the gravy. You can’t eat fat or gristle if you can’t see it!

Easter notwithstanding, Sunday family dinners now are hard to come by. We grab what we can and then we’re off to Kohls, Wal-Mart, or the IMAX theater. Still I can’t help but harken back to those simpler times and wonder: would Jesus go for the regular carrots or the ones pureed with cumin?

What was on the menu for your Sunday Roast dinners?  Please leave a comment…