Thursday, 25 July 2013

The midweek roast and other urban myths

My roast was lamb, and my gravy was better.  And there were no chips.  But you get the idea. 
Sometimes when you take on a new or unusual challenge, you are rewarded mightily.  You learn a new skill, find a new strength, impress yourself, maybe even impress others.

And other times, you completely cock it up.

Last night I failed.  I failed at a dinner I've heard of only by hearsay.  A meal that excellent housewives cook for their husbands, so naturally I've never done it before.

It's the midweek roast.  Refusing to be confined by the normal Sunday lunch or dinner traditions of this meal, the MR can pop up on any normal week night, breaking through the boundaries and throwing off the relentless drudgery of after school activities, car pooling and play dates which should put paid to this type of crazy dinnertime aspiration.

In other words, it's a stupid idea that's far more trouble than it's worth.  If you even have even the inkling of a midweek roast, slap yourself and make spag bol instead.

The reason I even thought of it?  Well, I have a roast starved husband, who loves nothing more than a big hunk of dead meat surrounded by veges cooked in duck fat.  He enjoys a Sunday roast at least once a month in the Winter.  However, I have not been feeling roasty in our upstairs situation, even though we have a respectable oven.

To be honest, in my current state I've been feeling mostly beans on toasty every nighty.

But I had a Wednesday free of swimming obligations, I wanted to surprise Mike.  So I planned a roast.  A fucking lamb roast.  On a fucking Wednesday.

Yep.  It ended badly.  Because life automatically punishes ANYONE who thinks about making a midweek roast.  What a wanker I was to even contemplate such a goal.

Mostly on Wednesdays we're home after 6:30 because of swimming.  Mostly dinner is sushi purchased earlier in the day.  But I was drunk with freedom.  Someone else was taking the kids swimming!  I had all that time! I could put the roast in, coat it in a bit of dijon, bit of rosemary, garlic of course, par boil the veg, pop them in too, turn them lovingly, rest the roast, crisp the veg and conjure up a delightful gravy.

Actually, when we do roasts (proper like on a Sunday), I put the roast in, par boil the veg and stick them in the oven and lose interest.  Mike does the rest.  But he wasn't there because IT WAS MIDWEEK and he was at work.  I had to do EVERYTHING.

And sadly, at about 5pm, he rang me with the chilling news that something totally awful had blown up at work.

He wasn't going to make it home.  For dinner.  And he couldn't take over the troops while I went to book club.  Oh yes, lets just add into the mix. It was my book club night. And no normal book club.  Oh no...

Tonight, the book's AUTHOR was coming to talk to us.

And I had a roast in the oven.  Instead of sushi in the fridge.  Because I am an idiot who should have a Doctorate in Biting Off More Than I Can Chew.

After 8 frantic and futile texts to potential babysitters, I rang the hostess and begged her to switch to our house (when I say house, I mean stupid top floor flat).  When she agreed I drove to her house, grabbed the nibbles and wine she'd prepared for the night, including an ultra special cake she had baked, that related to the book we'd read. Between us, we sent out texts letting everyone know the new location.

At home I threw all the mess into the study/playroom/tvroom/storageroom, rested the roast and made the gravy.

You see, I couldn't turn back now, I'd gone too far.  Bookclub was coming, the roast was cooked and the kids would be hungry.  I had to feed them something, even though I felt like tossing the whole high maintenance nightmare into the bin.

That roast added 500 x stress to what was already a stressful situation.

But they came home and I fed them. The children that is.

And the bookclub girls, the darlings they are, all arrived on time, at the new location, in good spirits.

And the author, the incomparable Kate Forsyth, was sensational and blew our tiny little minds.  I can't even begin to tell you how great she was.  I might just save it for another blog :).

Mike arrived home at 1am, warmed up his ice cold din dins, came to bed and left the house just 5.5 hours later.

In overdoing it, Mike and I should both have Doctorates.   You couldn't pay me enough to ever contemplate a MR ever, ever again.


PS.  I have used capitals quite a bit during the writing of this post.  I do not apologies.  This is a subject I feel very strongly about.