Hold that Roast! Alternatives for a Family Weekend Lunch or Dinner

The weekend’s looming and you remember that you’ve got 12 people to feed on Saturday. What have you got planned? Whether we view ourselves as traditionalists or not, many of us fall back on the old favourite of cooking a big roast dinner when we have a get-together with the family at the weekend. Of course, part of the reason is that cooking a roast is actually quite simple.

It’s mostly about getting the timing right, so that all your components – the veggies, the meat and the potatoes – are ready at the same time. If you go too early on the veg and your cooked broccoli is left standing on the side while the meat catches up, it can spoil the overall effect a little! So, next time you have the grandparents or your siblings over for a big family lunch, plan to do things differently.

While it’s summer we may as well make the most of the good weather and eat outdoors. The barbecue’s always a straightforward option, with the possibility of everyone contributing a side dish or a salad so that the hosts don’t spend all day getting everything ready. If it’s at your place, you can co-ordinate who’s bringing what to avoid having double potato salad or missing any of the family favourites. Try not to overestimate how much meat and fish you’ll need – unless you don’t mind eating leftovers for the next three days!

Alternatively, head out to a local beauty spot and picnic there. We’re certainly not short of idyllic places to pack up a picnic basket and rug and head to in this part of the world. This is a particularly good option if you have lots of kids coming, as they can eat their fill and then run off all the energy without messing up anyone’s tidy house!

The great thing about there being so many places to order food in these days is that you don’t even have to do the cooking when you’re having people over. Why not treat everyone to an oriental Asian meal and all try some new dishes together? Ordering Chinese food from Deliveroo gives you the flexibility of ordering sharing dishes like dim sum or a selection of different dishes such as Salt ‘n’ Pepper Ribs or Szechuan chicken that, with a few sides of rice and noodles, you can all dig into together. And there’s no prep involved – save for setting the table and getting some drinks poured.

If you’re “cheating” by ordering in, the world’s your oyster. On one occasion, you might go for Chinese, on another an Indian banquet, complete with curries, naans and chapati. Maybe you’ll choose something more off-beat like Korean bulgogi barbecue? Yes, you could cook it yourself, but why not play safe and leave it to the professionals? That leaves you free to entertain your guests and not get steamed up in the kitchen!

Of course, while the food plays an important part in this type of gathering, it doesn’t really matter what kind of menu you choose. It’s the getting together and spending time with each other that makes it really special.