Some of my happiest childhood memories are of the delicious home-cooked meals we used to have on Sundays.
I remember how the kitchen used to be our gathering place on Sunday mornings. Pots simmering on the stove, we would joke, laugh and sing while preparing the lunch feast.
The house would fill up with appetising aromas that made our mouths water.
I remember the wonderful scent of my mother’s pot roast simmering slowly on the stove. You could smell it from the gate.
During the week we had our “papa le lebese” and we never complained. We knew that come Sunday –– lijo tse monate le nama!
We had a Sunday routine. We used to wake up very early. Since we had to go to the 10am service at church, we would start lunch in the morning so that when we came back we just had to warm up the food. Rice, potatoes, li salad ka mefuta, pot-roasts, vegetables, gravy ea tamati, all had to be done before we left for church. Jelly, we used to make the day before and custard in the morning.
Upon coming back from church, waiting for mother to finish dishing up for us was like torture. Grumbling stomachs, hungry faces and the aroma from the kitchen were just too much! It all smelled so good! Then finally, it would be time to eat!
This Sunday lunch tradition is still practiced in many other households as well. I hope that the recipes that I share with you every week on this page will create the same wonderful memories for you and your family like I had growing up.
Till next week,
Do you have some wonderful Sunday lunch memories you would like to share with us? Email me on:
This issue is dedicated to my late mother – “Ateane” ‘Mamonyake Aletta Moteane. The yummy food she always prepared for us will never be forgotten and the recipes will stay in the family for generations to come. Love and miss you always.
Lemon roast chicken, baby potatoes and butternut with white wine gravy
1.5kg whole chicken
60ml butter, melted
1 tablespoon spicy chicken spice
1 clove garlic, sliced in half
1kg baby potatoes, whole, washed with skin
800g butternut, peeled & cut into chunks
1 1/2cups boiling water
1 tablespoon cake flour
60ml dry white wine (can be substituted with water if preferred)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 180ºC.
Mix the butter and the chicken spice
Place the chicken breast in a deep roasting pan and brush generously with the butter.
Gently lift the skin on top of the chicken breast and insert some of the spicy butter.
Cut the lemon in half & insert one half and sliced garlic into the chicken cavity.
Squeeze the juice of the other half of the lemon over the chicken.
Place the roasting pan into the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Keep brushing the chicken with the pan juices to keep it moist.
Add the potatoes and pumpkin to the roasting pan and continue to roast for ±1hr or until the chicken and the vegetables are cooked. Turn the vegetables only once.
To test if the chicken is cooked, prick with a fork on the thickest part closest to the bone – the juices should run clear.
Once the chicken is cooked, transfer the chicken into another dish, cover and keep warm.
Pour the boiling water into the pan and scrape off all the juices sticking to the pan.
Transfer the liquid into a saucepan. Mix the pan juices with the flour until smooth and well blended.
Bring the pot to simmer over medium heat. Add the white wine and simmer until the sauce starts to thicken slightly stirring constantly. Taste to check seasoning. Add salt & pepper to taste.
Simmer for five minutes and then take it off the heat.
Serve hot with the chicken, vegetables and a green salad.
Tips For Best Results
If you are using frozen chicken, make sure it is thoroughly defrosted and at room temperature. This will allow for a more even roasting.
For whole chicken – it helps to tie the legs together with a string. This will help the chicken to keep its shape during the roasting process.
It is very important to keep basting your chicken with the pan juices while roasting. This prevents your chicken from drying out and will give you a more succulent, moist, flavourful roast.
Once you have taken your chicken out of the oven, carefully tip the bird so that the juices from the cavity drain into the pan. Always use all the juices left in the pan to make lovely flavourful gravy to go with your roast.
Baked Chocolate Pudding
¼ cup butter
½ cup white sugar
1 cup cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
½ cup milk
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 ¼ cups boiling water
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC
Cream the butter and sugar
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt & cocoa powder and add to the butter. Mix well.
Combine the egg and milk and gradually add to the flour mix until well blended.
Pour the mixture into a well greased pie dish or any ceramic baking dish
Combine the brown sugar and cocoa and sprinkle on top of the mixture evenly.
Gently pour the boiling water over.
Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
Serve warm with whipped cream, custard or ice-cream.