because the laziest day of the week should be the tastiest day of the week
There's just something about a Sunday that makes you want to spend a little extra time in the kitchen. An alarm-free day that starts with a slow ease into consciousness and the best cup of coffee you've had all week, often rolls into sweats-clad comfort in the kitchen, lazily laboring over something that takes significantly more time than throwing boiling water over a cup of dehydrated noodles and a flavor packet. Sundays are for lingering over breakfast, brunching with friends and preparing meals that don't subscribe to the 'one pot dinner' format.
(As a woman without a dishwasher, I must admit that this final day of the week fills me with equal parts longing and dread, as I have a tendency to make my way through nearly every pot, pan and utensil housed within the walls of my dated-but-functional kitchen.)
When growing up, I remember Sundays as the days when mom would experiment and try new recipes. They were the days when the cookbooks would come off the shelves and be leafed through, over milky cups of tea and something sweet brought home from a bakery. The kitchen table would be covered with worn copies of The River Cafe and Silver Palate cookbooks, that to this day still contain some of my all-time-favorite simple and delicious meals. Dishes like slow-cooked lamb shanks and roasted tomato pastas would rise from the pages and find their way onto our plates, just early enough to be followed by a movie on the couch and a reasonable bedtime before the week began anew.
These days, the bedtimes aren't quite as reasonable, and the milky cups of tea have been replaced by slightly tannic, bold glasses of red wine and cocktails made rich by bourbon and bitters, but the inherent feeling of comfort through cooking and convening over food, remains.
As I sit here in the early morning light, with a cup of coffee and the sound of a thunderstorm scoring the start to my day (albeit from the noise machine app on my iPhone), I set my oven to 400*F, knowing that I have a boozy-brunch-out, fast approaching. Unwilling to forsake ritual, I decide to preemptively roast vegetables for the evening of blissful relaxation that lies on the horizon, making sure to satisfy my Sunday kitchen cravings, regardless of a social life.
And because every kitchen is made infinitely more inviting by the smell of crisping bacon, I conclude that extra virgin olive oil is for the other six days of the week, and roast my vegetables in the rendered fat of cured and smoked pork.
Set your oven to 400*F.
Cook your bacon in a pan over medium heat, until rendered and crispy. Set the bacon aside and reserve the bacon fat.
Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or aluminum foil and spread the veggies out over it. Drizzle them with the reserved drippings and vinegar and season them with salt and pepper and thyme leaves.
Roast the vegetables from 20 minutes, then give them a shuffle on the pan. Roast them for a further 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
Crumble the reserved bacon over the veg and enjoy them as a side to any main dish, topped with a poached egg or just as they are with a glass of wine and little attention paid to the week that looms ahead.
Of course, the members of my family aren't sat together around the kitchen table on Sunday mornings, scouring the pages of yellowing classics for food projects with which to occupy our afternoons and early evenings, anymore. We do, however, find ourselves on the phone, in three separate kitchens, sipping tea and wine, a country apart, planning experiments and bouncing ideas off each other. May that never change.