Chicken Roast Family Lunch

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Cure for Mondays

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it fuels the mind and body. Health-wise, I don’t think anybody should argue with that. There’s another meal during the day though that I feel is more important for three reasons. One, it’s well-planned. Two, it’s well-attended.  Three, everybody’s ready for long conversations at this time of the day. 

Well-planned lunches
I have memories of the women in my family sitting down during a mid-morning coffee break planning the day’s lunch. We lived in the province where LUNCH BREAK meant coming home from work or school and eating lunch with the entire family. That’s the reason why lunches had to be well-planned everyone in the family looked forward to it every single day.

My grandmother would sometimes call over the phone asking us what we’d want for lunch. So even if we did not live in the same house, she’d have our “orders” delivered by one of the ever-reliable househelps and the driver. I have loved crispy pata (pork’s leg) since I was four so when I was in the mood for it I’d let my mother dial the phone so I could call Lola Didit and ask for my crispy pata. That was my food delivery service back in the 70’s.

Attendance is a must
My grandparents were rather strict about lunch attendance. Everyone would be expected to be at the table a few minutes after my grandmother would ring the bell for a meal. Their home, the Villa Mercedes in Bohol, was a huge Spanish house sitting gracefully between two spacious gardens. You could be anywhere when the bell rang — you just had to make sure that you’d be at the table before the second call. It may sound a little austere but I’ve been thankful for all those moments because now I have wonderful memories of family time well-spent, eating together the most delicious home-cooked dishes one could ever imagine.

My father carried this on at home. You could never be doing anything more important than a family meal. It didn’t matter if Duran Duran was playing on MTV. Youd had to leave those guys to be at the dinner table when it was time for a meal.

Every bite counts
I’d be seated somewhere on the right side of my grandfather and they’d have to put a can of biscuits for me to sit on because I was tiny. My grandfather initiated all conversations and I still clearly remember how all the adults would politely answer him when he asked them questions. He was a judge and carried an air of intimidation in him.

The talk would slowly become animated in the middle of lunch so everyone would start easing up. I’d remain quiet, hardly eating anything but tremendously enjoying all the conversations that would go on around me. Theirs was a 14-seater antique table and you could just imagine the buzz that went on there especially when desserts were about to be served.

What are your lunches like? I'd love to hear about your memorable experiences with food. Share them here!

All the memories I have of food and the people who made them are all amazing. That’s what my husband and I have been trying to let our son (and now our daughter who obviously loves to eat) experience in our home.

From time to time we’d gather family around and cook for them and share the wonderful experience I had when I was little.

We gathered together recently, and as usual, cousins requested for Roastaman’s roast chicken. Roastaman of course, could not refuse.

Roast chicken, pasta and salad for lunch

Meet the Roastaman!


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