I’m writing this post on Sunday night with the smell of a beef casserole simmering on the stove in the background and remembering that as I was growing up the food we ate was very much a part of the daily and weekly ritual.
I wrote in the post Of Chow Food and Other Things about our regular Friday night feeds of Fish and Chips but there was a fairly standard menu served in hour house when I was growing up. One night would be chops, sausages, mashed potatoes and peas, another sausages eggs and chips, yet another spaghetti bolognese, and of course the Sunday lunch time roast when we weren’t out visiting relatives or having barbecues.
Karen and I had to either set and clear the table each night or dry the dishes. For some reason we used to fight over the former, mainly because it meant we could sit down earlier in front of the TV and watch the Flintstones or Gilligans Island.
Most nights, Dad wasn’t home. Most nights he wouldn’t get home before we went to bed but would come in some time later, under the weather and smelling of the front bar of any of several pubs he frequented over those years. But this is a post about the food we ate, not the bad times, I’ll leave that for another time.
Sunday nights we usually had something light, like toasted sandwiches in front of the telly. A night without having to set the table was bliss. I know there are families who share meals around the table and Raels and I try to do that now. Maybe it was the fact that eating at the table reminded me too much that Dad was absent that it wasn’t a tradition I had with my own kids as they were growing up, but is something I enjoy now when they do come around for meals with us. But I digress again.
Mum was a good cook, but not an adventurous one and that may have been because we had fairly spartan tastes and any time she did stray from the meat and three veg, like the time she tried to serve us sheep brains and I came very close to vomiting, or when she regularly tried to serve up Brussels sprouts. To this day I don’t like them.
But the roast potatoes, ahhhhhh, I still haven’t tasted better, even after all these years. And Dad’s barbecues were as good as anyone could ever cook, charcoaled chops and snags, and best of all, flat round chips fried in dripping over a wood BBQ in the back yard.
Another memory from the kitchen table is of my sister Deb, sitting in her high chair breaking up bread crusts and stirring them into a bowl of ice cream. She still makes her cakes the same way even today. Just kidding.