The beauty of The Big Lunch is that anyone can get involved and that is why The Big Lunch asked the nation 'what will you bring to the table?'
Whether it was simply turning up with a pot of coleslaw, or the tables and chairs for people to sit on, whatever people brought was in the spirit of forging long lasting relationships within their community.
We've collected a few answers from friends of The Big Jubilee Lunch- one for each year of the Queen's reign!
I shall be taking parmesan cheese wafers: parmesan grated and put in small heaps on a baking tray and put in a hot oven until they melt: then withdrawn and left to cool and harden. I may stand by a table in the Big Jubilee Lunch and eat them all myself xxx
I will be bringing my baby daughter Clemency on one arm and a basket of goodies on the other. Clemency will bring, as only a baby can, innocence, hope, love and laughter. I will add some special homemade flapjacks, chocolate laden brownies and perhaps a strawberry or three. This is a time for giving; sharing and taking delight in the old fashioned values it is so easy to lose sight of in the maelstrom that is modern life. The Big Lunch is a time for remembering all that is good about Britain, our community and our lives.
For the annual community party in our street in Kentish Town in September I will make my usual big paella. But for this June's Big Jubilee Lunch I will be pleased to offer a jar of the special Diamond Jubilee Marmalade which I made earlier this year, when the Seville oranges were in season - it has peel cut in the shape of a crown!
What will I bring? I’ll be bringing my 2 children, my wife, my dogs and the whole village together for a BBQ down at the rugby club. There’ll be everything from rugby balls to crème brûlée to fine Gloucestershire ale and I for one can’t wait!
You ask me what I bring. I bring the same as you – myself. I pledge myself to be here, as you do, so that together we can make memories of a day we shall never forget. An outstretched hand and a smile of welcome, a thirst and a hunger to be part of the throng, laughing and chattering with excitement, singing with gusto - we are a community, a neighbourhood.
What I’d bring is a bunch of dice and we’d teach everybody how to play a wonderful game called Perudo. Perudo is played in the bars and cafes of Peru and it’s a wonderful way to finish off a lunch and to make sure everybody has a great time.
The Big Lunch needs my Big Nutty Mango Salad with something for everyone. Herby rice for Mrs B at 36, who has more kids than the old woman in a shoe, coconut for Bob at number 4 who I am sure is rummaging through my recycling, and fruity bits for the chap on the corner who lost his wife and needs a little sunshine in his life, from a neighbour who meant to say hello but didn't. Let's eat, let's chat, let's say hello next time we pass.
I will be up in Yorkshire with my old friends Kathy and Christa - the three of us make up Richard Whiteley's Quality Birds or QBs as he preferred to call us. So we will be bringing lots and lots of laughter to the Yorkshire table, usually so much that we too exhausted to eat!! Nobody lets me cook, for reasons best known to my smoke alarm, so I'll be helping a lot - I'm very good at laying tables, serving and clearing away, in other words I will be head waitress and bottle washer and happy to be so. Bring on the lunch.
I would bring my pineapple and sausage surprise because the Monarch always enjoys this when she comes to my place. Sadly I won't be in England for the diamond jubilee because my sense of community is so strong I will be doing my farewell show in Australia, celebrating my own diamante jubilee. However I am contributing a set of tasteful dinner mats portraying Australian marsupials, painted by deviated septum victims in honour of my favourite charity. When will I stop giving?
For me the big lunch is a rare opportunity to gather with and celebrate neighbours, the people from up and down the lane of all different types who are thrown together to create a community, it is about watching smiles exchanged, kids playing tag and sharing hiding places, grinning men with a beer in one hand and a charred sausage in the other, women with plumptious coffee cakes, cardigans pulled around shoulders as it gets chilly. It is about taking time out from the inane rush to stop together and feel good about being us here and now.
As I have been collecting Coronation Chairs for many years now, I will get them all out and set them round the table. They are very comfortable as they were designed for sitting on in uncomfortable clothes for long hours in Westminster Abbey. This will be my stylish contribution.
What would I bring to the table? I would bring a Diamond Jubilee mug for every child. Giving school children celebratory mugs was a wonderful tradition that has slightly fallen by the wayside in recent times. I think it last happened at the Queen's coronation in 1953. We should revive it - it would be a great reminder of what is going to be a great celebration, and would be something which could be handed down through the years.
I know exactly what I would like to bring to the table. If the job hasn't already been taken (!) Can I do the barbecue? The moment food moves outside, it oddly becomes a bloke’s job to cook it and our house is no different. However I'd like to think I've progressed beyond charcoal sausages and smouldering burgers. I've cooked for large parties so I think I'm up to the task. I'm also at my happiest surrounded by family and friends, cooking for a grand occasion!
Seeing as we'd probably have our Big Jubilee Lunch outside and this is good old Blighty I'd have to bring a few outdoor gas heaters so we could all mingle through the night. I don't get much time to spend with my neighbours so if I'm making the effort for one day, I'd make sure it lasts... Of course I'd have to bring food because every time I bump into Helen and James from down the road, they tell me there still waiting to taste a MasterChef dish. Let's not forget the kids though, they're the future of our community so I'm thinking a bouncy castle would keep them happy (and quiet). So as long as I keep the food and neighbours warm and air in the bouncy castle, we're all in for a great time.
I bring to the Big Lunch optimism and hope, happiness and laughter, positivity and surprise, generosity and care; all the ingredients that we sometimes forget to add to our daily life. It's a chance to hug a neighbour and get back to the roots of community.
I've never been to a Big Lunch in the street but it is one of those must do before you die things for me. I'd love to do the cooking for everyone and this is what it would be in early summer in Cornwall: a crab salad with mayonnaise made with the oil from the rape seed fields around Padstow then our Newlyn fish pie, fresh from the market that morning and strawberries, meringues and cream and to drink, Bob Lindo’s wonderful sparkling Pinot Noir, all from Cornwall to celebrate our Queen’s reign.
I shall be bringing a big bunch of carrots to the lunch. Why? Because there is nothing tastier than a raw carrot. Most of it is water, of course, so it's refreshing and low on calories. A carrot is rich in vitamins - A, B, C, D, E - and all sorts of marvellous mineral salts and essential oils, carbohydrates and nitrogenous composites. It's nourishment that gives you a tan. (I think Tony Blair and Dale Winton must eat little else.) Carrots are fun to look at, good to eat and they are USEFUL. If the Big Lunch goes on until after dark and the fuses blow, you won't need to worry. You'll be able to see in the dark.
I have always been a fan of the pork pie. Not just any old pork pie - like that dreadful sort with damp and greying pastry encasing damp and greying meat and wrapped in cellophane - but freshly baked pork pies from a pork butcher with liquid jelly that can be drunk from the hole in the top of the crispy, golden, glazed pastry. I have always vowed to make one of these 'raised' pies myself, and the Diamond Jubilee should give me the inspiration to do it. My mouth is watering already - God Save the Queen - and the home-baked pork pie!
We will be bringing as many people as we can to our garden for lunch in the marquee which hosts our son Merlin's wedding to Lizzie the day before. So, a wedding lunch of love and laughter, all our friends, a celebration of Louella's father's 92nd birthday, and a heartfelt prayer for all our troops in Afghanistan where Merlin has survived three tours and his regiment is at the moment. Long live the Queen!
I'd bring humour to the table. My every memory of happy coming together around the dinner table have involved laughter, jokes told in English, Scots and Punjabi, a veritable cross cultural compendium of comedy. And I find laughter distracts from my substandard cooking.
I will bring some French sticks, a bowl of steak tartar and to wash it down a crate of vintage sparkling water. However raw meat may not be everyone’s idea of a meal so I’ll join the big lunch but I might just be eating on my own although I’m prepared to offer anyone a morsel willing to try it.
I will bring rice and peas and jerk chicken (spicy , but not too hot – only a hint of scotch bonnet peppers, lots of allspice, chunks of ginger, onion, garlic and tomato on chicken thighs marinated for a couple of days). Moreish party food to remind me of the three weeks I spent with the Queen and Duke touring her Caribbean realms on Britannia, when I saw what this astonishingly dedicated woman really means to people worldwide, the Queen of Jamaica. Her arm was in a sling because she’d fallen from a horse ... but I never saw a trace of sweat as they seemed to enjoy six busy engagements a day. Last month I reminded her of the trip. “Oh yes” she said, with that big smile. One Love. Let’s get together and feel alright.
We will be bringing, family, good friends, food and fun to the table on Sunday 3 June 2012 and hoping to create happy memories to cherish for years to come.
I should definitely bring plenty of wine to share. I wonder if that's still allowed. Would I be stopped at the first string of bunting and urged sternly to drink responsibly and consider the health of unborn children before indulging in a merry quaff? Well I'm not pregnant and I like to think I can act responsibly without being told to. So I shall bring a bottle anyway and raise a glass to the organisers of the Big Jubilee Lunch. For what better way could there be of celebrating our great British community, its splendid history and it's exciting, ever evolving present than by meeting friends and neighbours over a good long lunch! Cheers!
I am going to bring to the table a sense and feeling of community spirit. I will make sure that we all have fun and get to know each other by finding out everybody's names and not letting anyone feel left out. My ideal dream is that as well as all the lovely food people have supplied together, we will have a great sing song, plenty of laughter and end up doing a conga down the street.
I shall bring to the table a china teacup bought in 1977 with a picture of the Queen on it. That year I was a truculent twelve; she had already been on the throne for 25 years. At the time I didn't see the point of being dragged up to the Mall by my parents to wave to the Queen. This year I will be taking my own daughter to do the same. And when it comes to the lunch, I will use that souvenir cup and think with gratitude of her Majesty's many years of service.
I love inspiring children to have confidence in themselves, to hold up their heads and smile, because winners smile. To consider the feelings of others, not bully or be hateful causing untold anguish to those who are vulnerable. To find contentment in their hearts and not to be jealous or envious of what other people have in this materialistic world, but to be content and satisfied with what they have because the more content a person is the more they will receive. So I’ll be bringing all this wrapped up in moral courage to help them practice the above. Along with slices of tantalisingly rich Caribbean fruit cake made to my beloved late mother’s recipe…… Once you have tasted it you know you’ve lived!
I'm lucky enough to have a teapot that is meant to service a small regiment of soldiers, it’s a huge two handed beauty that would make the hearts of many a WI lady flutter. I'll arrive as a one man cream tea, copious quantity of scones, jam made from local strawberries, local clotted cream, tea, milk and sugar. Totally British and bound to cause an argument - what goes on first the jam or the cream....
I can't cook, but hopefully the sun will shine down on us that day and I will bring to the table the best barbecue ever using my expert skills with my tongs, inviting those close to me to eat, drink and celebrate this huge occasion with excellent company in the form of my family and best friends.
What will I bring? Well, first of all, I will bring chocolate. No meal is truly fulfilling without it. Next I will bring napkins since, with the onset of deteriorating memory, and menomiddleage, I seem to have become a major dribbler, plus, I like to put all crumbs to good use as between-course snacks. Next, I will bring chocolate, since I love it so much. Finally, I will bring chocolate although if I am honest, I am unlikely to be sharing it. Oh, and as an afterthought, I will, of course, be bringing chocolate. Yes. That's right
What I would bring to the table would be a table. A round table, so we'd all have to face our neighbours, lost friends and enemies, not just look into the eyes of those closest to us.
I bring to the Big Lunch a prayer of gratitude for all the incredible abundance on our table and the friendship of our neighbours and community. I would ask everyone at the table – young and old, of all backgrounds, religions and cultures – to add their personal gift of a prayer to the gathering so before we dig in to our delicious food we connect at a deeper level of love, harmony and peace.
I would bring to the table a bottle of Newcastle Brown!
I love the idea of the Big Jubilee Lunch and everyone getting together to celebrate in such a wonderful way. Just like Coronation Street every street and neighbourhood across the UK can feel part of the occasion. Community spirit, laughter, goodwill and togetherness mean so much. We’ve had some amazing parties over the years on the cobbles and we’ll be having our own street party to coincide with the nation’s celebrations. Not surprisingly, I’d bring Betty’s famous hot pot to the table! There’s no party without Betty’s famous recipe and there’s a veggie version too! It’s hearty, sustaining and brings a smile to your face when you recall its lovely namesake, Betty Driver.
I would love to bring my nana’s chicken soup to the table! It’s the happiest food there is and there’s always enough for the whole family in fact the whole community hahaha! No one ever goes hungry with nana’s special soup! The perfect wholesome food for a street party as well just in case the weather isn’t gleaming sun , (which I’m sure it will be) this soup will not just fill a whole in the tummy but warm you right up from the inside out! I think I might have a problem with sharing it though as my mouth is watering just as I write this hehehe!
I'll bring games and fun! Parties need lots of both!
Wallace and Gromit would have to reinforce their table first, before they bring an extra-large portion of their favourite crackers and cheese to share at their Big Lunch, all washed down with lashings of tea. Smashing!
I would bring some platters of health and well-being to the table! Made up of a dash of healthy food, a splash of family physical activity, a sprinkling of fun, then put on a gentle slow simmer which makes for a delicious happy lifestyle for all!
My favourite part of a meal is pudding so I'd bring that for my Big Lunch. Despite having lots of kids, I'm afraid my pudding is for adults only. It's a fresh double espresso with a scoop of proper vanilla ice cream, the stuff where you can see flakes of real vanilla pod. I can't claim it as my own invention - it's called an "Affogado" and is a simple Italian dessert. I'm quite retro when it comes to coffee too. I'd set up a stall using the old-fashioned stove-top coffee maker like the kind you see in Spain.
We’re going to be having a Big Jubilee Lunch street party and we’re going to have a huge cake, with everything in it, lots of rum and raisins and we’re going to be dancing to the Calypso all day!
For the Big Jubilee Lunch I’d bring music to the table, obviously… Yes I'll bring the singing. I’ll get everybody in a singsong, I’d research the songs that were current when The Queen was crowned and I think we’ll have a musical tribute to the time of her coronation, all those wonderful old songs. Vera Lynn, Rodgers & Hammerstein, a piano in the street like we used to when I was a kid and we’ll have the most wonderful singsong.
I would bring a large groaning platter of Scottish langoustine, the greatest of crustaceans. And on the side, I’d have a big bowl of garlic butter, some Vietnamese dipping sauce and a tub of my special cocktail sauce. It’s a combination of mayo, ketchup, crème fraiche, cayenne pepper, whisky, lemon juice and seasoning – sort of posh Scottish Marie Rose, and de-licious with fresh langoustine. I’d supply a load of those bamboo kebab sticks and shellfish crackers, too, for fiddling the last lovely succulent morsels out of the shells. Oh, and napkins. And I’d ask my wife very nicely if she could pick a bowl of salad leaves from her garden for everyone.'
My culinary skills are somewhat lacking, so for the Big Lunch I would be the first one to shout 'Takeaway?' through my neighbour's letterboxes, happily collecting their orders and phoning it through: "Hello. We'll need 450 pizzas please. I'm afraid they're all different toppings. Have you got a pen?" I think The Queen would approve, as I have it on good authority that she likes nothing more than to kick back with a takeaway prawn chow mein (which she eats off a 1977 Silver Jubilee commemorative plate) and a box set of The Wire. Her Majesty is currently on Season 3.
As the Big Lunch is happening during Springwatch, I would bring lunch for our feathered friends! A few big bird feeders and fat balls carved into jubilee crowns and hang them on trees in the street for all the community to enjoy. I'd bring a few pairs of binoculars and some bird books so we could share our laughter and song with the beautiful chatterings of nature.
I would bring Royal Pots de Crème and meringues. For six you need three eggs in all – two yolks for the pot au chocolate and three whites for the meringues - and the trick here is to leave them in the oven overnight when cooked. It takes me ten minutes total to prepare both puddings and they are a delight. Double or treble the recipe and those in your corner of the Big Jubilee Lunch table will have an extra reason to celebrate!
Anyone who knows me will know that I love any excuse for a get together with family, friends and food. So The Big Lunch is right up my street! My lifestyle means I never have enough time for family and friends so that's why when I can I go for it big time - this would be a great opportunity to pull together all those that are fed up of my excuses (usually work) and the neighbours I run past waving too when trying to get a train or meet an appointment. If I could, I would guarantee sunshine - must be my Caribbean heritage! Food wise - my ex-boyfriend was a great cook and his speciality was seasoned Tiger Prawns soaked in coconut rum. Divine! We are still friends so he would share the recipe. I have a thing for Beetroot, goats’ cheese and pine nut salad so willing to share that with anyone who fancies it - and carrot juice. Let's not forget desert - Popkakery seem to be the new cupcakes - (cakes on lollipop sticks in fancy flavours and designs) - great for sharing. To top it off - Massive speakers in the streets blasting out the new Bob Marley film soundtrack! Wicked!
My Big Jubilee Lunch will involve over 100 kids so we are doing retro kids food, jelly and certainly trifle will be on the menu and I am hoping to get hold of some good corned beef and make corned beef and salad cream sandwiches. There may also be some ham with pineapple. The kids will be very bemused I am sure!
I shall be taking my very favourite blend of fair trade coffee. Now this is not ordinary coffee and I shall bring my special coffee grinder and serve to order! I am quite a proficient Barista and will enjoy taking orders for whatever coffee the guests would like and make a special delivery to neighbours who can't make the meal itself.
I would bring a camera to film my Big Lunch event because time never stands still and memories fade but if you've recorded the moment on video or in a photograph, memories can come alive again and bring a smile to the face forever! Priceless!
Let's face it Britain is a nation that lunches...It's enshrined in our history, in who we are and if we had a Constitution we would be constitutionally required to lunch with family and friends a lot. So it's natural to want to wish Her Majesty well through the medium of lunch. And whatever you do FORGET your Ps and Qs and DON'T feel the need to fold napkins in the shape of Corgis.... The Big Jubilee lunch isn't about stuffy stuff like table manners it's about getting together for a Happy Jubilee.
We are no strangers to a big lunch - a couple of weeks ago we cooked for 80 folk. And this is what I'd bring to the table - a whole pig! I can think of nothing better to feed a crowd than this, and such fun to prepare and cook. 9 or 10 hours on the spit (and probably a good half ton of logs) and you have a roast that you can literally carve with your fingers. Everyone has second-helpings and all the dogs gorge themselves on the bones afterwards - nothing at all is left and all present are satisfied and cheered. A lovely old-world type of feast.
I am stuck in the Peruvian amazon with an egg and a can of peaches until the next food boat arrives which could be today or in three days - I am imagining The Big Jubilee lunch, which I should be back for, in my mind at this moment it centres mainly around steak and beer - glorious.
I'll be bringing a fridge full of red lipstick, a hair brush, a smile and some of my old fashioned sweet and special cakes to pop into everybody's ruby delicious mouths.
I would bring a sense of style and a sense of occasion; it’s just too easy to get out the paper plates, plastic forks and polystyrene cups! Go and visit grandma or the local antique arcade, borrow beautiful crockery, glass and cutlery it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t match, probably nicer in fact. I promise the food will taste better and the day be more memorable for it! Just remember, some of it won’t have seen the light of day since the last Jubilee so revel in the memories... As for the washing up...I'll do it.
I'm going to bring the beauteous bounty of British summer to the table. Forget dreary imported dullards. This is all about English asparagus, cut from the crown mere hours before, steamed and swathed in butter. Fresh peas too, still in the pod, eaten naked save a whisper of salt. Broad beans no bigger than a child's nail, peppery radishes, succulent Poole prawns and a few bottles of proper English cider. None of that over-fizzy muck, rather the real stuff from the West Country, pure liquid gold. Bring the best of British produce to the table ... and wait for the good times to roll.
What would I bring to the table? Well, Jamaican Kola Champagne is my favourite drink and I love tomatoes with absolutely everything. But in reality so long as my son Aidan and I are there, there’ll be plenty of laughter, and what more could you hope to bring?
So what would I bring to a Jubilee celebration lunch...a wonderfully cooked shoulder of mutton...not lamb but mutton. As I have married into a sheep farming family, I have become quite an expert on this and without doubt mutton is best! Plus, I’ll be getting everyone involved in game of cricket – I couldn’t really ask for more!
I'd love to bring my three grandchildren, aged six, three and ten-weeks. The older two would give great fun and joy with their energy and humour, and the new baby would ensure a real cooing moment for everyone. They'd bring a whole cross-generational dimension, plus in decades to come they'll each be saying "I was there".
Choosing the menu at our place is always a challenge. I am an Australian of Sri Lankan origin, married to a Trinidadian, and the kids are born and bred in Britain. To celebrate the Big Jubilee Lunch, I am going for the fusion effect – something marinated in curry spices, chucked on a barbie, wrapped in a roti, and served with some English chutney.
As a chef, it’s generally expected that I’ll bring food to the table. I’ve cooked since I was small, whether cooking with my mum at home or helping out in the communal kitchen of the Sikh Gurdwara in Edinburgh. The Big Lunch is all about having fun and meeting your neighbours. You don’t need to bring anything particularly fancy to the table. Lively chat and interesting people can make even a glass of water good fun. I’d like to think I’d bring a bit more than cooking – I can do other things too! Hopefully someone else will bring the desire to clean up – I hate doing dishes!