Tuesday, 15 January 2008

2008 ...

Okay, it's been a while. A long while. I look back over the last nearly three months and I can't remember what's been happening. So I'll kick off with the encyclopaedia again.

F is for ...

Fish fingers

When I was a wee girl, I remember Mum breaking out the fish fingers on Good Fridays. They seemed so exotic, so 'other'. I know, I know - they're the fish equivalent of a preboiled supermarket sausage - bits, flaps, odd tufts of floor shavings. But it was the '70s, for goodness sake, and we lived in the heart of cow country - you couldn't move for piles of steak in those days.

When I was pregnant, I worked my way through schools of the things. In the back of my mind sat an image of giving birth to something crumbed and gold. Yay for the 20-week anatomy scan, to put your mind at rest that you're carrying around some arms and legs and lungs in there.

Sweeney's shown that he can scarf a pile of them when he gets the chance. For eight months everything he ate was created from scratch from interesting, fresh meat, fish, vege etc. Then one night I baked two fish fingers and chopped them up in a bowl of store-bought toddler food, and he delivered the whole mess into his mouth in about three loads. I always think of that night when I eat fish fingers now - so many emotions:

  • the thrill of getting away with fish fingers and glop out of a jar

  • the horror at giving my poppet fish fingers and glop out of a jar

  • the deep, deep offence at having fish fingers and glop out of a jar received with more enthusiasm than the mixed steamed vege melanges I'd been turning out
Food in general is a brilliant, brilliant thing. Martin didn't feel like dinner tonight, so I made myself a plate of spaghetti with anchovies and garlic. It's what I like to eat when he's out, usually. He doesn't like anchovies, which is just mental, but who am I to force ambrosia on the unwilling ??

Sweeney's becoming increasingly picky about what gets into his body. Always welcome are:

  • anything with sugar

  • anything out of a jar

  • anything that I'm trying to eat

Most of my fave foods are not classy - Mum's bread & butter pudding, Nana's chops, Martin's green chicken curry, Dad's cooked breakfasts, Kimberley's gratin dauphinoise, Denis' pavlova ... When I was in Cambodia, I just loved the coffee there. When I got back to New Zealand, I found the closest thing I could find was a tube of Nestle Coffee 'n' Milk. It set me on a frenzy for nostalgic food - in particular, things I could remember eating with my Nana when I was little. Like shrimp paste sandwiches, krispies and fingernail cake - Ernest Adams madeira cake with slivered almonds on top.


Aren't they crash hot?? Yes, they are. The feeling that comes from the shared memories of childhood tickle fights, bizarre relatives, glimpses of parental drunkenness and the like. The time Mum took us to see Superdad while Dad and went to see The Towering Inferno, or Rollerball, or some deeply cool movie in 1975.
And Mum and Dad always seem to enjoy hearing me rant about how they let Kimberley get away with all sorts of things I got pinged for before she was born. Hold onto your hats when we get to T for Table Manners ...
And then the family you make for yourself. Martin and Sweeney make the pure hell of getting up in the morning worth it

Also crash hot. You know who you are, and you're fine, fine people.

1 comment:

alisonmc said...

Yes, hating anchovies is totally mental. I can't imagine missing out on the joy that is puttanesca with extra anchovies. And what's a caesar salad without real anchovies and a poached egg? And hello, pizza with anchovies! I could go on, and on.

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