updated 11/01/2012 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 11/03/2012 AT 11:30 AM ET
Exclusive excerpt from this week’s PEOPLE Magazine:
When I was growing up, our family didn’t have Sunday lunch every weekend, but if there was a chance we would all be together or that we could escape for the day from boarding school, a Sunday lunch was always a favourite option. We were hungry school children with a never-ending appetite! The chef (Mum) always liked it, as it meant she could have Sunday evenings off-duty, leaving the rest of us to knock up something quick and easy-scrambled eggs on toast, omelets, or rounds of cucumber sandwiches. For us as well as others with busy lifestyles, a routine Sunday lunch has become more of a rarity, but it will never lose its appeal.
My ideal Sunday lunch would start with a walk to build up an appetite or (better still) a walk that finishes off at a local pub before heading home. I would choose a pot-roast or slow-roast which can be prepped in advance. Cooking a large piece of meat is an inclusive and domestic ritual and a tradition to cherish. It doesn’t always have to be a traditional roast, but it has to be familiar and cozy: bangers (sausages) and mash, a chicken pie, lasagne or a casserole all lend themselves readily to second and third helpings as well as a glass of red wine! No starter, but jugs of bloody Mary with nibbles or even a dry sherry and salted almonds are quite the thing now and not quite as “old-generation” as some think!
At a proper Sunday lunch, you are almost guaranteed to have pudding (dessert)! Well, at least I always hope that. For some reason, the richer and sweeter always seem the most satisfying.