Thursday, July 23, 2009

Roast Day

It's Roast Day tomorrow. Jess and I are having the Grevilles over and I'm cooking a roast. But not just any roast, a Roast Day roast.

Allow me to elaborate.

Roast Day roast, by definition, is a roast that defines and occupies the entire day. Roast Day begins, as it falls on a Saturday, at a very leisurely noon-ish. I'll start a fire in a washing-machine drum in the backyard (to set the scene, the fence around my backyard is two-metre tall rusty corrugated iron with barbed wire atop, the back wall is a patchwork of varyingly-aged steel plating and the whole thing looks like a post-apocalyptic stronghold, a place from which to weather a zombie outbreak, but today - my friends - we roast!). In the drum goes a huge, cast-iron camp oven and in the camp-oven goes a 3kg shoulder of lamb. Beers are opened and the fire is watched for a few hours. Then some chicken breast fillets are tossed in, the fire angried up, and a half-dozen more beers are downed over the next few hours. Shit-talking commences. An accoustic guitar may come out. Laughter is free and boozy cheer surrounds, mixed with the smell of the lamb that's now been pressure-cooking in its juices for a good five hours. When the arse of the lump of lamb (now already deliciously tender and alive with aroma) is starting to caramelise in its own juices, it gets lifed up and a half kilo of spuds go in to both cook in lamb/chicken juices and form a scaffold for the meat to steam without touching the pot and risking burning). Another hour later, the sun has set, everyone is nicely sozzled and start at devouring a six-hour-roasted piece of pure fucking bliss.

The world may be a terrifying place, and life speeds by at a terrifying pace, but on Roast Day we slow down and enjoy. Because the next Roast Day might be a fortnight away.

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