Sunday Lunches

Roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding, roast chicken and stuffing, roast pork and apple sauce, roast lamb and mint. This was Sunday lunch without fail in the Seventies. Anyone not eating one of these meals on a Sunday lunchtime would be considered mentally ill and/or foreign. If you were exceptionally bohemian then you might have Sunday lunch in the evening due to having got out of bed too late to cook it. If you admitted to not eating a proper Sunday lunch then the reaction would be one of horror as if you’d said you were vegetarian or ate Pot Noodle for breakfast.

Sunday dinner with beef and YorkshireI’m sure that plenty of Sunday lunches are still cooked in homes today, especially by people’s grans, but far, far fewer than when I was a child. In fact, according to the Daily Mail, half as many Sunday Lunches are cooked now than the Sixties. These days if someone wants a Sunday lunch then they’ll go out to a pub-restaurant and have one cooked for them. Back then there was hardly any demand for restaurants to open on a Sunday and pubs served pop and crisps in the beer garden.

My favourite Sunday lunch was pork, lots of crackling with warm apple sauce (Mum used to make it at the same time as the dinner and I can’t stand the apple jam you get in jars now). We had proper gravy made with the fat, not out of a packet, roast potatoes and one or two types of veg, usually cabbage and carrot. Some people would have bread to dip in their gravy but we weren’t allowed to do that because Mum thought it was Common. I used to save the roast potatoes until the end because they were my favourite.

Spotted Dick in the newsSunday lunch was always followed by a pudding, either rice pudding or crumble and custard. Or on special occasions we might have a steamed pudding like Spotted Dick. It was accompanied by Corona lemonade, which would be a new bottle opened especially.

When we went to my Gran’s house, the plates were piled much higher than at home. We would have every type of vegetable you could imagine, roast and mashed potato, Yorkshire pud with every meat, even chicken and my little sister was allowed to have tomato sauce on hers. Once I cried because I couldn’t eat my last potato, I was just too full. Still managed the pudding though.

Josie Henley-Einion, author, blogger, Legend in my own Living Room


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