Every Sunday when I was a child was Sunday roast day.
Middle of the morning the pressure cooker would go on.
My brother and I would be playing outside as usual. We weren’t allowed in the house at all.
We entertained ourselves by burying cars in molehills, or riding down the drive on the Tonka truck. If it was cold we’d huddle on the rotten toy chest by the side of the house where there was shelter or go into the den we had made in the hawthorn bush at the bottom of the garden.
The kitchen windows would be steamed up and the sound was a constant droning in the background.
We dreaded Sunday lunch.
Despite food being very precious in our lives because it wasn’t a priority to our parents to ensure we had enough.
Despite the fact that Sunday lunch was quite a spread, we dreaded it.
When the slow cooker went quiet it was time for dinner.
We would quietly take our places at the table.
My brother and I weren’t fussy. Food was good and we’d pretty much eat anything. Pretty much. But not totally. And Sunday dinner cooked in the slow cooker was not the best of food.
My brother was a slow eater. He would eventually make his way through it but it took time.
Time was apparently something we didn’t have.
I would wolf my dinner down (I don’t think there are many things that I don’t do at pace) and my brother would steadily begin to tuck in.
Pretty soon my stepmother would become impatient and the shouting would start. Shouting doesn’t make you eat any faster. Pressure and stress doesn’t make you eat any faster.
Every Sunday it was the same. From one pressure cooker to another.
One Sunday there was dessert (there might have been every week but I don’t remember).One particular week it was bread and butter pudding.
It was a big gloopy lump in a bowl. It was yellow with fat sultanas all through it. No crispy top. Just a big, yellow lump.
I hated it. Apparently that was not allowed. I was forced to eat it.
I went outside shortly after and was sick.
These days if I see bread and butter pudding on a menu, I don’t order it! But I do have Sunday roasts sometimes.
It’s funny isn’t it how we can have little video clips in our heads of memories – with sounds and smells and sights seeming almost as real as they were at the time. And all it takes is to see a picture or hear a phrase to find yourself back living that video clip.