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The Way To A Man’s Heart

March 25, 2013

Yesterday I made our first family roast in Pakistan.  It wasn’t very good. For starters, halfway through I realized that I had no means of making decent gravy, so we had to do without.  I also didn’t have a proper joint to roast, so I defrosted a couple of T-bone steaks and roasted them (which is undoubtedly heresy but seemed to work quite well).  The absence of gravy rather put the kybosh on Yorkshire pudding, which would just be unpleasantly dry and there was no horseradish.

There were, however, roast potatoes, roast sweet potatoes, carrots and other veg and, for pudding, apple sponge and custard.

The Sunday Roast was a tradition as I was growing up and followed the Sunday morning church service without fail.  It’s a lovely tradition and is one which I would like to continue for my children, albeit in a slightly more impressive form than yesterday’s.  However it was my first over here and sometimes you just need to get that ball rolling.

It was worth it for my husband’s sheer excitement at the thought and reality of a roast dinner.  He kept coming into the kitchen to ask “Are we really having roast potatoes?” and I think he positively skipped when he saw a proper pudding.  It’s all to do with his love language.  He’s definitely in the “Acts of Service” category.

Love languages are something I learnt about when A and I did a course before we got married called, rather prosaically, ‘The Marriage Preparation Course’.  It’s run from a church in London, but you don’t have to be a Christian to attend and has the aim of raising various issues for discussion before marriage (rather than just getting married and then realizing that whilst one of you wants a football team of children, the other finds the idea abhorrent).  We were warned before we arrived that it felt a little like attending a Moonies convention and when we went through the door it was into a room with around 150 other recently engaged couples, all looking rather terrified and hanging onto each other for dear life.  There was a long queue down the middle with supper being served at the other end, so we joined that.  In front of us was the only person standing on their own, which we thought was a little peculiar. Halfway down the queue, her other half appeared carrying a plate of food.  It transpired that he’d gone to get himself something but had ignored her.  She was most disgruntled. Happily, the topic for that first night was “Dispute Resolution”. 

Anyway, around week 3 or so they introduced the concept of ‘Love Languages”.  The idea is that everyone has different ways of feeling loved.  At first I thought it was just waffle and was unimpressed, until we had to write down how we personally felt loved.  The 5 categories are (and this is very simplistic, but you’ll get the gist):

  1. Words of Affirmation – being told “I love you”.
  2. Quality Time – someone turning off the rugby and spending time with you instead.
  3. Gifts, not necessarily hugely valuable, but thoughtful and kind.
  4. Acts of Service – doing things (like the vacuuming) which make the other person feel appreciated.
  5. Physical Touch – the ‘I need a hug’ type person.


My love language is most probably ‘Words of Affirmation’ with hugs and vacuuming/washing up not far behind.  I just assumed that A felt exactly the same. However right at the top of his list of things that made him feel loved was the fact that I had recently cooked him a roast (complete with gravy and Yorkshire pudding this time).  For A, the way to his heart is most definitely through his stomach, and I had had no idea. 
And so, given that Gerry is on the way out and he finally has an appetite, I thought a roast was the best way to celebrate.  Next week I’ll buy a chicken. I’ve seen them in the market.  You can choose which one you want as it clucks and pecks its way through the wire of its cage and then it is prepared in front of you.  However I’m a lily-livered Westerner who prefers not to look my meat in the eye before its slaughtered, so I’ll get one instead from my favourite butcher. Now, where to source the stuffing….

[By the way, both the Marriage Preparation Course and The 5 Love Languages are books you can purchase on Amazon or, most probably, other reputable bookshops.Image  These photos, however, are from Amazon.]                                                                                          Image      



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  1. Alex Pease permalink

    very amusing – we had a similar experience in Tokyo for Christmas Dinner – we had booked out a Japanese restaurant for all the office staff and Lucy had given precise instructions on how to cook a Christmas Dinner it was all perfect but no gravy – she had forgotten to tell them about the gravy!


  2. Poor Lucy. Ah, The Importance of Gravy – it can never be underestimated. I’m now on a search for Bisto powder. Wish me luck!


  3. Clare xxx permalink

    make your own stuffing…blitz a slice of bread, apple, herbs, egg, sausage(if poss) apricots, nuts anything really…put it in a tin and chick it in the oven. Greg makes ours and it is lovely xxx


  4. Charmaine permalink

    Love the blog! Also a big fan of the 5 Languages of Love.


  5. Beanie permalink

    Clare, stop showing off! I’m envious that you not only know how to make stuffing off the top of your head but that you also have a husband who cooks! I can highly recommend the Love Language Book – David & I ran a parenting course (yes, really!) called Family Time (brilliant fun) which including the Love Languages, we did giggle that it would have been helpful to have know about them a long time ago …. a lot more things make sense now! Great blog, loving it. x


    • Thanks Beanie for the lovely comments. I agree – didn’t know that Clare knew how to whip up some stuffing out of thin air. Very impressive. Now, if someone can just let me know how to do it without sausages (they’re hard to come by over here!). xx


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