Saturday, 20 March 2010

A cook writes

    I have a bloke mate who isn't very good in the kitchen. He tries, but there's no passion. Mostly he ends up pulling stuff out of the freezer, mixing something from a jar or packet, or sometimes even picking something up from a takeaway. Like me he grew up in the 1970s UK but unlike me his mother has a very traditional approach to food. Where his mother called in her family to sit down and tuck in to traditional English fare of boiled vegetables and overcooked meat, mine as a disciple of Elizabeth David whose elder sisters were born in the Colonies would involve us all in the elaborate production of curries, risotto or regional Italian pasta sauces. This was heavy stuff in 1970s rural Britain where the most exotic food item most people had ever seen was a prawn cocktail.
    I am heavily indebted to my mother for this. She gave me and my sisters equally a lifelong serious interest in food and its production which growing up as we did amongst farms and market gardens we were able to indulge from an early age. It's nothing to do with some corny stereotype prompted by my gender issues that I do nearly all of the cooking at home, my wife's a damn fine cook but it doesn't matter to her to the extent that if I'm prepared to prepare our food she's quite happy to let me get on with it. Which works very well for us.
    I only wish I could persuade her to join me in liking some of the less healthy and more stodgy desserts.


  1. Oh, stodgy deserts... I think you do need to be english to enjoy those though :) (Mrs Stace is not a fan either)


  2. How long before they replace Customs and Immigration at Heathrow with a large caffeteria. Get off the plane, sit down, have a large helping of steamed jam suet dumpling with condensed milk on it placed in front of you. Enjoy it and you're in, struggle and you're on the plane home! :)

    I can just see the Daily Mail headline: "They're feeding them our puddings now!"

  3. I must say that I did enjoy the Indian food, whilst on holiday in England. Oh yes, the pub food was good also, as was the beer. Come to think of it, I did have Mexican and Italian also. Funny, I didn't have anything English until I returned to the Colonies and had fish and chips at

  4. Pub food is British enough! Mind you, away from the coast the fish and chips can be pretty dire.