British, Children, Culture, Food, My Articles

Passing on My Britishness: Roast Dinners

A traditional roast dinner – British style
Photo: Ronny Stephan

My Dutch boys also have British nationality so I want to make sure they have some idea of what being British means. It’s a tough idea to put into concrete actions and a topic I have touched upon a few times before (see my guest post for Bringing Up Brits for a start).

Right now as I write there is a chicken roasting in the oven, roast potatoes cooking, sprouts and broccoli ready to be cooked and stuffing balls ready to be put into the oven shortly. The whole lot will be finished off with gravy. It’s a very traditional Sunday roast. It’s something British that I miss and something that makes my childhood Sundays particularly memorable.

Growing up we sat down as a family on a Sunday lunchtime to eat a roast dinner almost weekly. Always with a pudding, which was usually the only day of the week that my mum made a dessert. A crumble, or home made rice pudding, or a fruit pie. And today, as a tribute to my Britishness, our meal will be topped off with an apple crumble and custard.

It’s a little bit of Britishness that I can easily pass on to my children. And make our own family tradition at the same time. In twenty or thirty years time I hope that my sons will look back at Sunday lunchtimes with the same amount of fondness as I do.

*Passing on your birth country culture and traditions is the theme of a set of blog interviews I am doing for a new series – so watch this space or, better still, if you would like to get involved and are an expat parent then contact me to be interviewed! It’s all very painless I assure you.*

What food do you cook at home to share the tastes of your birth country with your children?

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2 thoughts on “Passing on My Britishness: Roast Dinners”

  1. I'm trying hard to squeeze the traditional Sunday lunch somewhere between the playdates of my daughter, walk outside, the daily routine (sleep) of my little son, the hectic shopping and so many other tasks which we usually have on the one and only “relaxed” day of the week. But then I really try to stay traditional and prepare (as much as possible) Balkan(I'm tempted to write Bulgarian and for some of these it will be correct) disches for my family (thank God we have the stores in town). On the other hand, my daughter cannot (or doesn't want to) understand why I have to spend so much time in the kitchen preparing stuff when I can have a good time with her (not obligatory at the playground)..
    I realize that the topic is a bit different but all I want to say is that traditions also change as we all do.. I know that children have to learn to fly but they also need the roots and here's where we step in and must do our job, but on the other hand the good time spent with my family is a good time spent in general – it's not so important if it was around the table sharing traditional food or just cuddling and share good laugh.. Plus, nowadays there are other ways of sharing home-cooked (with the lovely support of kids) dishes from our home country – at ISH where my daughter goes or in the creche where my son is. We are internationals and part of being such is the acceptance of change..

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