Food food, glorious food!

I love food! The problem is that if I love it too much, it tends to stay with me and make me large in places that shouldn’t be large! Luckily last year I had an operation which meant I had to eat really small portions for a long time. It sounds bad but the really small portions came about five or six times a day. Bliss! Eating all day and I lost weight.

I’m not a fussy eater although a lot of my friends dread me coming to dinner in case they kill me. I am a vegetarian (not so unusual today). I don’t wear weird sandals or hair shirts, I just don’t eat meat, fish or eggs. Not really a problem for most average cooks. The problem seems to be because I am allergic to garlic. I can hear the howls of sympathy from here, but I don’t need your sympathy because I hate the stuff anyway!

It does however create a small problem when I go out to restaurants. If there isn’t a vege option on the menu the conversation usually follows the pattern of “Well would you like some fish? Perhaps an omelette then? DaH!!! I’m Vegetarian I scream “Just vegetables, on their own then?” is the response. There is then the problem of making sure they don’t serve up my vegetables with a spoon that has been serving up any garlic. There are of course the usual wise cracking waiters, “would madam like the cheesecake or the Tiramasu?” Then comes the “One tiramasu – no garlic” yelled down the restaurant.

I’m not a brilliant cook but I try. The people who come to dinner keep coming back so it can’t be too bad. I always leave a packet of indigestion pills on show in the bathroom just in case anyone needs them but so far I’m the only one that has needed them.

I have improved over the years. When I got married nearly half a century ago, our first visitors for a meal were an aunt and uncle. I decided to cook a roast chicken (brave as I hadn’t really achieved much more than boiled eggs at that stage) The chicken seemed to take ages to cook then I realised I hadn’t taken the bag off it. I kept going and proudly dished up the chicken ready for carving, although it didn’t smell very nice. My uncle carved but stopped after one slice. It seemed I had left the giblets in a plastic bag inside the bird! I didn’t know what giblets were then either. The fish and chips my uncle went and bought was very nice though (I wasn’t a vegetarian in those days).

One of my dislikes are restaurants that charge high prices and then starve you! So call “fashion” cookery. A large white plate with a huge brim will appear. On it one pea, one slice of carrot, a teaspoon of potato and a tiny bit of meat in the middle, all decorated with wiggly lines of some red stuff. You can get all the food on your fork at the same time and just have the one mouthful! And for that you have to pay a high price. In one restaurant I did say “nice appetiser how long to the main course?” My companions who love that kind of snobbery were aghast, the waiter treated it as a joke. He was probably laughing all the way to the bank! I hate pretension. Still I might try it next time I throw a bash, it would be cheaper and I might not burn anything.

I do like cakes though. I used to love making birthday cakes for my relatives and friends. I’m not very good at icing and so my cakes are always on the comic side. For my sisters 50th birthday I created Stonehenge on the top of the cake – it looked really good and so I added the words “Happy Birthday to an Ancient Monument” Not sure if that one went down too well. I guess my sense of humour is not always appreciated. My other efforts have included a porcelain toilet complete with a toilet roll stand and toilet roll and the immortal words “Happy Birthday – Another year down the pan!” That one did go down well. My favourite one was the breast cake! Two pudding basins made the main part and they were put side by side and decorated in pink icing with a lace bra iced on them and two cherries set in the right places. I thought it looked really good. I needed something nice to put on it so I added “To help you keep abreast of your birthdays” I wish someone would ask me to ice their wedding cake, I have lots of ideas for that!

Now I’m trying to find a hobby for winter, but its fraught with difficulties! Tell you next time.


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