Wednesday 13th November 2019

Favourite Family Meal. #ltw2. 366/263.

Favourite Family Meal. #ltw2. 366/263.

Big thanks to everyone who made last week’s FIRST week of “Life This Week” such a great BEGINNING! Here’s this week’s based on prompt two:

My Favourite Family Meal.

I chose this prompt because I have such great memories of family meals. I can tell you that I have made many family meals over 45 years but I wanted to tap into a much deeper source where meals were made with love and helped me learn the value of family coming together to share food at the end of the day.

That of my late mother’s cooking and her meals.

Mind you, there are quite a few I could have chosen..mmmmm cutlets….however, in the end I went with…

Mum’s Baked Dinner.

Mum was a creative and generous cook yet she didn’t really enjoy eating that much! However, I do know that it gave her immense pleasure to see her family (and friends!) eating her cooked meals.

I call this meal a baked dinner but I also know others call it a roast dinner. Yes, it was always the evening meal except for ONE day. Christmas Day when the hot meal was at lunchtime. Then that was more than one meat and the veggies…there were at least 3 meats not even counting the ham.



The meal pictured is a little like Mum’s but as I have no photographic evidence (no iPhones back then!) you will need to imagine the following for Mum’s Baked Dinner:

  1. Meat. Generally it would be a leg of lamb. Mum would have slowly cooked it after firstly getting the outside nice and brown (and crispy where the skin was fatty). Sliced thinly for serving and my bro and I would fight for the lamb shank.
  2. Baked Vegetables. Always potatoes and pumpkin. Sometimes sweet potato too. Always brown and crispy too. Mum’s dad taught her that skill and his oven was one heated by wood!
  3. Cooked Vegetables. Here was where Mum was in her element and she loved her veggies. Peas & Beans (often she would have bought these and peeled/sliced them herself…I have a memory of Mum sitting near the open front door in Summer doing that of an afternoon). Carrots, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts would all get a gig at different times.
  4. Gravy. Never via the tin or packet. Always made with the meat/pan scrapings and added water and flour. Relish!
  5. Mint Sauce. Often made by Mum too. Do you know how easy it is to make mint sauce? Even I can do it!

A little story and it’s true! In March 1976 our little family was stranded by floodwaters in Weilmoringle NSW at our school and residence where we had arrived early in the year as the two teachers and one student/daughter. In the end it was 10 weeks before we could go anywhere other than walk over to school to teach! Mum and Dad drove from Sydney to Moree – which was a good 10 hours drive – HIRED a small Cessna plane with a pilot and brought fresh food and (you guessed it!) a leg of lamb in….and stayed for a few days and COOKED and cared for our little family. I will never forget seeing my Mum emerge from that tiny plane on the airstrip outside the school with her arms full of goodies..and just aching to cuddle her then 4 year old granddaughter. Oh, and the meals were amazing!!


2 pics: L: airstrip at Weilmoringle NSW. R: close up of Cessna with Dad, Mum and DD aged 4.

Of course, I miss this kind of meal big time now as we are a household of 2. I have made one or two baked dinners since moving away from Sydney but it is so much trouble these days and very expensive  and my hub’s health means he eats meals like this very rarely. I will leave Mum’s baked dinner as a much cherished memory now and I am so appreciative of her skills and love of cooking meals for us.

"last" Mother's Day in 2006. Mum, my eldest GD, me, and my DD.

“last” Mother’s Day in 2006. Mum, my eldest GD, me, and my DD.

What is your favourite family meal?

Tell us your stories and memories of meals too!


P.S. Writing this post made me hungry!

life 150

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Joining with Alicia at One Mother Hen for Open Slather and Kell at All Mum Said for Mummy Mondays.




  1. Hi Denyse
    I didn’t have my act together today to write a new post about my favourite food so I linked to an old post which most of your followers have probably already commented on.
    I’m at the coast writing a book so I’m supposed to be “off line”.
    Your post has made me hungry though … am craving a roast for breakfast …
    Thanks for hosting!

    • Leanne, I hope you can deal with the craving! I miss baked dinners too. Best wishes with the book writing. That sounds pretty exciting. Thanks for linking up — old post or new, always welcome!

  2. I do miss a baked dinner! My mum and nana made something very similar to your mum. That gravy….. so good!

    How awesome of your parents to go to all that effort, what a great story.

    I didn’t write about my favourite family meal this week but I love the idea so will file it away to write about soon! <3

    • Isn’t it interesting how some meals are so memorable? That gravy,…Mum was the best at it…I have given it a go but I don’t always do it well. Mum learned from her Dad which I like! Yes, my mum and dad did visit us wherever we were posted in NSW but that one was the most amazing. Look forward to reading a post from you on your blog about fave family meal one day too. D xx

  3. My favourite meal ever was my Nana’s roast lamb. I’ve had many roast lambs since made by my own mum, myself and various restaurants but nobody else’s comes even close to my Nana’s melt in the mouth roast! She was an amazing cook and spoilt all her grandchildren with her cooking! I miss her so much!

    • That is so precious as a memory and I know it hurts but it is something loving and your grandmother would love that too. Yes, there are baked dinners and there are some that are just not. I think that’s why it’s too hard for me to even contemplate doing these again for two. Thanks for your caring comment. D xx

  4. Ha! I included my mum’s food as well and her roast (and her gravy) made my list! I used to do roasts myself but not for years. I don’t mind cooking for one (as I’m accustomed to it!) but there are certain things I save to have at my mother’s!

    • Great minds and all that! I do think it seemed liked roast/baked dinners were more of a regular meal in the era of your Mum and my parents. We did it as a family at our place about once a month. It also gets very expensive to buy lamb these days, which has been my preferred meat. Cooking for one…and freezing many little meals is something I do all the time know. Dad gets some of the meals when I visit. I am sure he misses Mum’s baked dinners too. He has a chance to eat one or two when he visits friends for a meal in his retirement living place and he does enjoy that. Glad Mum still spoils you. Mums enjoy that. I did/do.

  5. inthegoodbooksblog says:

    I plan on making a roast lamb tonight for dinner! 🙂 With the kids on school holidays, I can prepare meals that need that extra cooking time, instead of quick meals that I usually serve during the week.

    • Yes. That sounds like a plan. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! Mouth watering now as I write. So true about more time to do this in the school hols!

  6. Yes, my Mum’s baked dinners are still the best. She also makes apple pie to die for. SO GOOD. I’m nowhere near as good a cook as my Mum, but my boys still like my roast, otherwise they can be very fussy which makes it hard! Great story and memory from 1976. Love it.

    • I am glad your boys love your roast dinner! Yes, Mum’s meals always have a different taste and I am sure it is the love that is included. Your bolus will remember yours!! I ended up deleting a duplicate comment. No worries!

  7. That’s such a beautiful story about your Mum flying over to bring you food! Mums are worth their weight in gold, aren’t they?
    My mum used to make a baked dinner for Sunday lunch – seems like it was very similar to your mum’s.

    • I’d like to think that about Mums too, Katherine!! Sunday lunch was the time for baked dinners in so many households. The meal that could go on while everyone was at church!

  8. What an amazing thing your mum did! Incredible!
    I also love a good roast. They’re simple to prepare and rewarding.

  9. Your mums cooking sounds amazing!!
    How beautiful you have a 4 gen photo, such a beautiful memory.

    • Thank you Kell. It’s not until later you realise it is special to have 4 generations in life. Mum ended up getting to know 3 of her great grandchildren.

  10. I love myself a great baked dinner! I remember the times at my Grandmothers house with all my cousins helping serve one up when we went to visit! Yum!

  11. I went back into the vault for this one! I do love a roast dinner too . . . so easy, we do them about once a week.

    • Yes they are good to make and every week sounds like a wonderful plan. I think there will be a baked dinner in our future now I have re-ignited my memories!!

  12. I love my mums cooking, so comforting. She is the type of lady that likes to feed people.
    I remember so vividly my son’s paternal grandmother teaching me to make gravy like that in her kitchen in Macquarie Fields years ago.

    • It IS the way to make gravy!! And I am sure it is because it was so economical too, with the meat scrapings added for flavour. I miss cooking for the family meals we would have for certain occasions. Mind you, it became very expensive as the grandkids grew into teens let me tell you! The meal I usually made for family was chicken strips coated in parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs along with my home made fried rice. I “still” cook these and freeze them. Feeding the family is a loving thing for mums to do I believe. Thanks for linking up!!

  13. Opps, Recipes? I don’t have recipes. But f you want to know where to eat out, I’m your gal!

  14. Sorry I missed last week Denyse. I had it bookmarked to do but never got around to it. I’m here this week. This is an old post but my favourite, by far, is roast pork. We had it often growing up. The only way we could afford meat was Mum and Dad would buy half a pig so we’d be eating pork for ages, which I didn’t mind. It’s still our favourite today and unfortunately, since I wrote this post, the kids have cottoned onto crackling so not so much for me anymore, which isn’t a bad thing I guess. My Mum would have a roast every Sunday night and every special occasion. It was great back in those days that we all got together. I’ve only got my 2 sisters now and we hardly get together. I’ve got to create our own memories now. Lucky we’ve got the good old Aussie roast to create these memories. Thanks for hosting.

    Anne xx

    • It is a family tradition to have the roast meal isn’t it? Sadly not as often as it used to be and I suspect cost has a lot to do with it. I am a crackling lover too and Mum would always have it even crispier under the griller! Dad occasionally gets his roast pork dinner at the club next door to his retirement place now. As families age and grow I know there are fewer chances to get together and in our small (2 adult kids) we might have done that once or twice a year when we still lived in Sydney. Sad but true. Thanks for linking!!

  15. When mum and dad took us into town to do the weekly shopping, we would go to the Park and have fish and chips on the paper.

  16. Oh nothing says family like a roast. And now I’m hungry too!

  17. I love a good roast lamb with veggies and gravy – it cannot be surpassed!!!!

  18. I do enjoy baked dinners even though I didn’t grow up with them. I honestly can’t think of a favourite family meal but maybe it was when mum would make things like Bhel Puri/Pani Puri — these are usually foods you get on the street and are great.

    • Interesting isn’t it that it is often food we associate with mum’s cooking too. I don’t know those foods but they sound like they’re very comforting!

  19. Oh yes, Mum’s Baked lamb with gravy and mint sauce – and nothing from a jar. These days though my favourite is fresh Australian seafood.

    • It’s the “meal” I can no longer have …and that’s that case for you too. No more mum to cook it! I am sure the memories are most important for the selection I made. Glad you are enjoying your seafood.