DreamBirch Press
DreamBirch Press

Sunday Lunch - A time to make memories

A house is not a home without the laughter of children echoing through a dozen different rooms, family pictures adorning white splashed walls, and Sunday Lunch.


Sunday Lunch was always a special time in my family as a child. It never dawned on me to ask what meat had been chosen for that day, as my attentions were usually dedicated to playing with my brother and two sisters in the garden.


African summers were sweaty affairs and a time for the cool caressing waters of the swimming pool, whilst African winters were particularly mild and too worthy of those days spent out in the garden.

As the morning meandered along, each visit into the home provided all with steadily increasing hints as to which meat was on the menu, as the exquisite aromas would happily meet us at the door on every raucous, yet brief, foray into the house. Sometimes it was beef that Sunday, whilst a delicious variety of lamb, pork, venison and chicken were neatly interspersed amongst all other Sundays throughout my childhood. 


My mother ensured every aspect of the meal was meticulously planned and ready for delivery to four ravenous children and two equally hungry parents. My father, portraying a confident extravagance and respect worthy for the star of this meal, sliced up the meat with the surgical precision of an artist with three lagers as preparation. And as is required by all chefs 'worth their salt', he would ensure, with frequent tastings, that the meat that made its' way to his patrons plates, was succulent and juicy. He always showed much delight as he joyfully undertook this assigned task as head of our family.


The not so important visitors to our plates, though what would one possibly do without crispy roast potatoes, were a variety of home grown sweet carrots, cauliflowers and various other seasonal vegetables. A quick downpour of gravy, a dab of mint or apple sauce, or perhaps horseradish, would give us the all important sign to begin. We would steadily and joyously devour the platter of tastes and textures that lay before us. Occasionally everyone would contribute in differing quantities to the happy chatter that acted as the meal's background music.


Sunday lunches have moved on since my childhood years and as I've spent much time amongst different cultures. In England, the newcomer to the meal was Yorkshire pudding, and in some instances an uncomfortably, yet politely declined Black Pudding.


All vacations back to my parents over the years offered me an opportunity to relive and enjoy those meals cooked as only my mother could cook them. Sadly those times are now passed, yet they shall always live in me as part of my soul.


Today, Sunday Lunches come with a plethora of flashbacks to those memories from my past. As I proceed to make new memories, it is those times from the past that that will forever remind me of that special meal that made our house a home. In time the children's laughter may disappear, yet the occasion will always hold a special place in my heart, and to most of you out there.



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© Gary Claassen. 2023