Janice’s (R)oast Beef #atozchallenge

This post is part of the A to Z Challenge. Each post this month will be associated with a letter of the alphabet with the theme ‘Food Memories‘.


The January after I spent Christmas 2008 with my sister in Houston, I went further north to Vancouver to visit old friends made during my days at York University. At the time, I hadn’t seen them since we’d left one another in Toronto in 2002.

My first few days in Vancouver, I stayed with Janice and her family, whose house was close to downtown Vancouver. They had a little attic space in their house which doubled as the guest room. It was one of the cosiest spaces I’d slept in though I recall the wooden stairs going up and down creaked a little too loudly.

During one of the evenings, we stayed in and Janice and her mum (who came over to meet me) made dinner. Her mum had come over with groceries which included a significant cut of beef tenderloin for roasting.

“Is there anything I can help with?” I asked, feeling uncomfortable just standing around.

“Sure, you can help slice the carrots for the vegetables which will go with the roast beef,” Janice suggested.

And so, I began to peel and cut carrots, happy to have an active part in coming up with dinner that day, instead of just eating it. It’s always strange to insert oneself into a family’s every day life, that’s what it felt like for me that day, but Janice’s easygoing ways made me feel at ease.

The roast beef I had at Janice’s house was exactly like this. So yum.

After several hours of prep, and waiting for the beef to roast, it was finally time for dinner. Janice pointed me towards my seat at the table, a seat that had my back to their yard, while the rest of her family – her husband, her mother, Janice and their son – took their regular seats. Janice’s husband carved the roast, which was a near perfect medium rare. We had our dinner with a delicious bottle of red wine, and I was grilled by Janice’s husband about who discovered Malaysia. It was a strange, and memorable evening.

Are you a fan of good roast beef like me?

8 thoughts on “Janice’s (R)oast Beef #atozchallenge

  1. Your post reminds me of a visit to Vancouver in 1978. We stayed in the large rambling house of our friend’s parents not far from central Vancouver and like you, we were up in the attic where there were two double beds, our friends in one and us in the other. I remember sitting in the kitchen while the salmon was being prepared for dinner. It was cold (January) but warm and cosy in the house. The parents have long moved on but the house still belongs to one of the children.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Whenever my mom made a roast beef, the next night she’d take the leftovers and mix it with cream of mushroom soup, sliced mushrooms, and pour it oven egg noddles. A couple dollops of sour cream and heat on the stove and it became instant comfort food.

    Liked by 1 person

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