Dear Rebecca, what a fab idea, I would think by now you have many offers to lunch and here is another one. Above is a snap of the Goss family at Hadrian's Wall in the summer. As you can see, there are many of us and we all like Sunday lunch. It is the one meal we very rarely miss and should be eaten round the dinning table. If you would like to take a chance on us, you would be very welcome.
-please scroll down to read the shortstory-
the boss of the Goss family wrote a very nice invitation. She sent a picture
of her family, so that I could get a first impression of them.
They live in Upper Sketty, a very nice quarter of Swansea and not far from Mumbles. Sarah’s husband is called Simon; he owns a design company and his office is attached to the house. They have four children: Evan, Megan, Gareth and Bryn. Bonnie, the newest member of the family, is a very pretty cat who loves the big garden behind the house.
Sarah is a childminder and has every day one or two small guests. They are a modern family – a computer stands in the kitchen with connection to the internet and even the six-year-old Bryn uses the computer to play Dr. Who Sudoku.
I arrive at around two o’clock and Sarah welcomes me. Today Evan has a fencing competition and is away together with his father and brother Gareth. Sarah means: “Till the rugby match they will be back, certainly.” Megan helps her mother with the cooking and bakes a chocolate cake. She still needs a little help – nearly she would have forgotten the butter, but otherwise she is already very experienced. Bryn is allowed to play with the PlayStation and disappears. Sarah rubs the beef joint with mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper. She cannot put the joint in the oven yet, because she does not know, when the boys will come home. Therefore, she begins to mix the dough for the Yorkshire pudding. In the meantime, Megan has pushed her cake in the second oven and looks now after the vegetables. The rest of the family comes home and they have to tell each other a lot. Evan tells about his competition and Megan shows her new sports utensils which they have bought in the morning. Megan prepares for all sandwiches with home-made egg-mayonnaise, because till lunch it lasts another two hours. After Simon has examined the beef joint, Sarah can start to cook.
Simon goes to the living room and switches the TV on, just in time, at the beginning of today’s rugby match. But he just has made himself comfortable, a car arrives in the drive – it is Catherine, his cousin. Everybody assembles again in the kitchen to say ‘Hi’ and to look what she has brought: An Italian cake which Sarah will use later for a bread-and-butter pudding. Sarah, Simon and Catherine having a sip of sherry – they always do so, when Catherine comes around.
Sarah remains in the kitchen while the others are going into the sitting room – suddenly I can not understand what they say. They have started to speak Welsh – I am standing there and look from one to the other. Sarah comes and says: “I understand a lot, but can not speak the language properly,” and goes back to the kitchen. I follow her. She prepares the rest of the vegetables and bakes a bread-and-butter pudding.
In the halftime of the match Megan also comes back to the kitchen, because her cake is not ready yet. She piles up the cake parts on top of each other, of course, with chocolate sauce in between. She wraps up the cake in a chocolate layer and decorates him at the end with cocktail cherries.
In the meantime, Sarah puts the sweet potatoes and potatoes in the oven. She fills the Yorkshire pudding dough in little forms. She says: “They succeed best if you have goose fat on the ground.” Bryn asks his mother: “Which gravy will you make today?” She answers: “Pink gravy.” I have never heard of pink gravy, but I am open for surprises.
While the vegetables cook and the joint roasts in the oven, Sarah lays with Catherine the bed linen. The children play and Simon is watching the last minutes of the rugby match. Sarah gets the roast beef off the oven and sharpens the knife. Simon has the task to carve the meat and Catherine prepares the table. Simon carves the meat brilliantly and Megan and I pinch a bit of the lovely roasted beef. Without any stress and with routine Sarah has cooked a typical Sunday lunch. On the table stand bowls and plates containing: Brussels sprouts, carrots, swede mash, roast sweet potatoes, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and of course roast beef.
Sarah and Simon serve the food to the children, although everything stands in reach on the table. I find this rather unusual, because they still stand and the children already start to eat. Simon serves everybody else first before he walks around the table and fills his plate with food.
The food tastes very well, best is the roast beef – a lovely piece. I have never eaten roast sweet potatoes – they taste fantastic. The only thing I have problems with, is the colour of the gravy, I find it quite unusual, but nevertheless it tastes like gravy. Bryn loves his Yorkshire pudding filled with pink gravy and takes his fingers for help. Almost nothing is left and I have really enjoyed the food. We remain for a while at the table and talk. The children consider together with her mother what food she will cook for Christmas. They decide there is nothing better than a roast turkey. Then the kids get up and remove the dishes to make space on the table for the dessert. Megan carries proudly her chocolate cake to the table and shows him around. Of course also the bread-and-butter pudding looks very good.
Both desserts taste very good and I have again eaten too much. Sarah and Catherine amuse themselves for a while having a laugh at Simons’s expense: “I am used to it – always the same old stories.” The children have carried the dishes in the kitchen and Sarah puts them in the dishwasher. Before Catherine makes her way home, she helps Megan with her homework, because they are in Welsh. I am of course interested what a family like the Goss family is doing after a great Sunday lunch and stay for a while. Actually, it is another tradition in the Goss household on a Sunday evening: The whole family including the cat are sitting in the living room watching a video. This time they have borrowed ‘Xmen 3’ and even the smallest member of the family is allowed to stay awake and watch the film.
I do not want to disturb the family evening anymore and sneak off. It was
a fantastic Sunday – a quite normal Sunday – with a wonderful family.