Now. Regular readers might remember I have a few issues around the subject of food. Don’t get me wrong – I love food, am an avid watcher of cookery programmes and enjoy myself cooking and baking when I have the opportunity.
No… it’s the reverse. The older I get, the more foods I find that dislike me. The other day I went to my mother’s for dinner – I am aware that she thinks my food foibles are pretty much in my head, but I also get extremely anxious whenever I discuss food and what I can and cannot eat with her. She comes from a generation where you show your love and appreciation by eating whatever is put in front of you, clearing your plate and asking for more… it took me twenty years to pluck up the courage to tell her I detest Brussels sprouts…
“Look!” she said, gesturing proudly and a little defiantly towards the oven – “I made moussaka!”
“Ah.” I said, a little hesitantly. “Does it have-”
“Only the tiniest amount of cheese in the sauce, but you can’t expect me to eat it otherwise!”
I subsided, duly chastened and already worried… my stomach rubbing its nasty little paws in anticipation.
Mother served the moussaka, and it lay there, on my plate, plumptious and tempting. Savoury layers of aubergine and courgette, chinks of onion, like little pearls, interspersed with nodules of seasoned brown mince, glistening like the sweat on a lover’s brow, and over all this, billows of creamy white sauce, smooth, subtly beckoning, flowing sensuously over everything…
Reader – I ate it.
And managed to make it all the way home before the roiling indigestion, knotting stomach cramps, nausea – well, you get the picture.
Lying pale and limp on my bed, surrounded by sympathetic cats (well, vaguely concerned if I’m honest) I got a text from my mother.
“Hope you enjoyed dinner – see you tomorrow xx”
I can only conclude she was setting up her alibi…