A newly married couple were in the kitchen one Sunday. The wife was preparing a piece of lamb for roasting and the husband was preparing the vegetables. The husband observed as the wife placed the piece of lamb onto the chopping block and promptly chopped 4 inches from each end, discarded the pieces into the bin. She then placed the lamb into the center of the large baking tray, around which the husband began to place the vegetables.
The husband asks, “Why did you do that darling, that looked like perfectly good lamb you threw away?”
“Oh, I never think of it”, she replied. “Mother always did it and that’s what she taught me. We can ask her when we visit her for roast dinner next Sunday.”
So, that next Sunday they visited Mother for her Sunday roast and were served roast lamb and vegetables. Looking at the roast they could both see clearly that the ends had been cut off.
The daughter asked, “Mother, why are then ends missing from the roast?”
“It’s because… I honestly don’t know”, replied Mother. “I’ve always done it that way, just like my mother taught me. She is visiting next week so come for dinner again and we can ask her”.
So, another week passed and they were all seated at the table for Sunday roast, this time Grand Mother is present. And, like last week, the roast with its ends removed appears from the kitchen.
“Grand Mother,” begins the husband, “I’ve seen both your daughter and your grand daughter cut both ends of a perfectly good roast before they cook it, and I was wondering why you taught them to do it that way.”
“That is a very good question Grand Son.” says Grand Mother. “For many years when my daughter was growing up, we lived in a small apartment in New York. In that apartment we had a very small oven with a very small door, and the only way for me to cook my Sunday roast was to cut the ends off so it would fit into the small baking tray I used to fit into the oven. I stopped doing that years ago, ever since I got a larger oven – after my daughter left home I recall. Why waste perfectly good meat?”