My adventures & misadventures in parenting & life.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Take away the taste.

While I was growing up there was one meal that I looked forward to every week, this meal was almost a tradition in our house & I cannot recall a single Friday when this meal didn’t happen. It became something to look forward to, a treat, an unhealthy treat it must be said but because it wasn’t a regular occurrence it became an even bigger treat when Friday finally came around & we could eat it once again.

This meal didn’t consist of my mums wonderfully heart warming roast potatoes (crunchy on the outside & fluffy on the inside), I have to admit no-one, not even a restaurant has ever managed to create roast potatoes even halfway as good as my mum does.
It wasn’t a gourmet cuisine meal full of amazing herbs & tastes, consisting of three mouthfuls nor was it a family recipe handed down throughout the generations it was quite simply the weekly take away.

Once a week my mum would do the weekly food shop & on the way back she would buy sausage & chips for my sister & I, a sausage for the dog (she was a part of the family too) & a fishcake, pea fritter & chips for herself.
We would eat, mine was always covered in tomato sauce. I don’t know why I was so addicted to tomato sauce as I can’t bear the stuff now but back then it went on everything from chips to the Sunday roast. After eating we would put the shopping away & then settle down on the sofa to watch our regular Friday night tv fix of comedy & drama. The tv shows we watched became as much a part of the tradition as did the food & I loved the whole evening, just spending time with my mum, both of us watching the shows we had waited all week for & of course eating those chips.

Back then there was nothing so good as the smell & taste of chips, freshly cooked & smothered in salt & vinegar. I’m always immediately ravenous whenever I smell a bag of chips with the aroma of salt & vinegar assaulting my nostrils. There’s something about the aroma much like the smell of fresh baked bread or bacon sizzling in a pan that sends out signals to my brain insisting that I desperately need to eat the source of that smell.
Unfortunately nowadays although the smell is still as delicious as ever the chips are not, the taste has changed so much for the worse that now I rarely eat chips I just can’t reconcile myself disappointment of the meal when the smell is just as it always was.

Maybe I’m to blame in this & it’s just me looking back through rose tinted glasses but I don’t think so. I think it’s financial reasons that have ruined the taste of this traditional British meal.
Oil is now recycled & used for longer due to rising costs so that the oil taints the taste of the potatoes or maybe it’s the potatoes themselves, cheaper varieties are always inferior in taste & quality, it is most likely a mixture of both of these & it is sadly a nationwide epidemic of immense proportions.

The whole Friday night tradition will always be a special memory for me, every time I smell that aroma the memories of those nights with my mum come flooding back & I realise now just how much I miss them. I would love to have continued this tradition with my son but it’s not possible now when neither of us would eat more than a single chip. A strange thing to mourn the loss of but still I mourn.

* I could have written about a wide variety of my favourite foods from ciabatta’s & paninnis to deep fried brie, asparagus & my mums’ roast dinners but that weekly take away will always be a special memory & deserves to be remembered right here.

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