Thursday, January 29, 2009


I love food, I will try anything, which is a result of my parents upbringing. When they were young food was rationed & things like banana's scarce. They would never be allowed to leave the table unless they could show a clean plate. This habit carried in to my generation & although shortages were a thing of the past , showing a clean plate was the only way you would ever leave my parents table. My Grandmother told me how during the years after the war she would make a packed lunch for 5, using one egg & one tomato, my guess is that the first sandwich off the pile tasted better than the last.

Yet it saddens me today when I watch TV program’s that feature not only children unwilling to try basic vegetables, but parents who do not know how to prepare them. On my way to the local dairy I regularly witness kids buying pies for breakfast & for some that is their only meal of the day.

This entry came about after a conversation with my daughter who hates every single ingredient I put in to a dish but who loves the end result. I did not learn Cookery, Domestic science or what I laughingly see on the school time table as " Food technology ".

Ha! I know a food technologist & he earns thousands working for McCains, inventing new ways to clog your arteries.
I learnt to cook because I lived on my own & had to. I could not afford to go to the take away every night but some of my mothers & grandmothers thrift was instilled in me, I naturally made sure every meal was used up. It is either eaten on the day or rehashed in to lunch for the next day. Nothing is wasted, I hate wasting food. So many people as my parents used to tell me would be thankful for my left overs.

The blame lies squarely on the shoulders of parents, who are either too lazy or busy to ensure they make at least one decent meal every day. I do it, so why can't they? Do not tell me you have no time, I can make something easy & healthy within 30 minutes, it takes longer than that to order a take away & wait for delivery.

The message we send to the next generation is that food comes not after using imagination, ingredients & basic skill, but after placing a phone call. The more I read in to this issue the more I see that children whose parents take time to cook do better at school....wonder why ??? Yet it is the poorer & more at risk families that need to do this most. Having lots of money does not translate in to eating take aways everyday. I know, the next argument will be that wealthier families employ someone to cook but that is a weak excuse, it is like saying...don’t cross the Atlantic the world is flat...where would we all be if we believed that ? We need to educate people in to accepting that buying fresh produce & making the most of it is a far better alternative to any take away meal.
You may not like it, but then again I did not either, but my plate was always clean.

Listening to:

Kings of Leon....Sex on fire....
Op Shop..........One day...
Bill Nelson......Private view...
Ultravox... early years
The Skids... Days in Europa

Looking at

De Stijl
Peter Behrens

Modern Architecture
Graphic Design
Art on the Edge
How buildings learn


Katherine said...

I so totally agree with you David. I love the challenge of making something tasty and interesting from 'leftovers'. The pages of my recipe book are full of recipes in my children's handwriting of some dish (named by them) that they LOVED which was made of things like leftover gravy, one courgette, two onions, the last two slices left over from the roast, a half a tomato, half a cob of sweetcorn, a pickled gherkin, and mashed potato with grated cheese and breadcrubs on top...
I used to tell them that they'd have to write it down it they liked it, because otherwise I'd never remember what was in it...
Thanks for this post!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

You are so right David. A great post. On Channel 4 (or was it 5?)in England recently they had a programme in which Sara Ferguson - Duchess of York - befriended a very poor family in Hull and sought to get them to change their eating habits. It might sound as if was a programme about patronising the poor but it didn't feel that way in the end. She had taught that family about cooking fresh food, relishing food, eating together as a family and generally improving their overall health. I see the sons and daughters of families like that every single day. Poverty isn't just about money. It's also about imagination and values.