Dinner lady

MccainroastMy Dad rather brilliantly proclaimed last weekend: “I feel a lot of issues these days could be fixed if we all still sat down for a Sunday roast with the whole family and looked each other in the eye with the smell of gravy in the air.” We’re not just talking immediate family; the whole lot even the Aunty who will say “you look well” [subtext: you’ve put on weight].

Even in my darkest weeks my mum’s Sunday roast would fix everything from bad breakups and job losses to winter blues and quietly worrying if I’d ever be adult enough for a mortgage/tax return/offshore banking/ [insert other thing adults do that I didn’t really understand in its entirety].

But a roast is for Sunday right? It’s a meal that’s lovingly prepared over a period of about four hours with the sound of Desert Island Discs in the background or – if the TV is your realm – Planet Earth with David Attenborough’s dulcet tones trickling into the soporific surrounds. It’s a time for putting your thickest, bobbliest socks on (possibly the reason behind one of your previous boyfriend breakups) and nicking the occasional crunchy-on-the-outside, yet fluffy-as-a-cloud-on-the-inside McCain Roast spud – an absolute ESSENTIAL to any Sunday platter – from the dish before serving and having a quiet moment to yourself before Monday starts to start looming.

Well, a ker-azy one sixth believe a roast isn’t just for a Sunday, with a roast-toting 8 per cent enjoying more than two per week according to new research from McCain who polled 2,000 about their roast dinner habits.

I don’t even know where to begin. The process. The process is half of the roast. It’s not a quick and dirty meal after a long day in the office. That’s, perhaps, a moment for a jacket spud and a bit of tuna mayo or if you are a bit of a culinary savage, ‘fridge tapas’ – anything you can eat directly from the fridge. A roast is too extravagant for an average rainy Tuesday – it deserves a proper audience; a proper plate; the right ambience and possibly your Sunday best napkins. (Ours are still paper but the good ones have wide-eyed and slightly creepy-looking penguins emblazoned across them).

Also, the key to scoffing a roast is in the slow and steady approach. On an average weekday night you have about two hours max for scoffing. This is not enough time to inhale the harmony of smells wafting from the kitchen; the start gently salivating as the gravy gets going and then to ease into your favourite seat that’s moulded to your derriere over the years and not leave until you’ve eaten the equivalent of four meals in one sitting. But those meals are spread over four hours so that’s OK. That ratio is OK and how it should be.

So to the 8 per cent who are messing with the system, I ask you why? Simply why? A roast is for Sunday, not just any day.

The Great British Roast Off
McCain’s Roasts are made with 100% British potatoes that are peeled, cut into generous chunks, par-boiled and then basted in beef dripping – all consumers have to do is put them on a baking tray and cook them for 40 minutes. The result is a perfectly crispy, golden on the outside and white and fluffy on the inside roast potato, replicating the homemade taste that families have been enjoying for generations. To celebrate the roast potato, McCain is launching a ‘Rostaurant’ from 8-10 December where there will be 102,000 roast combinations available.
Sign up to the event here.

This blog post was written in association with McCain #greatroastdebate

Anna Whitehouse

Founder of Mother Pukka, Anna Whitehouse likes super hero cape-making classes and dislikes the naming of celebrity couples (TomKat, Brange etc.) She tries (and often fails) to parent the shit out of life.



Turns out I’m not an afternoon person either.


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