50 shades of food – 19th October

The session began with an update about our regular venue – the Masonic Bar is available to us for the time being, but it could now make sense to consider other venues.

Alison kicked off by reading an extract from that scene in Henry Fielding’s ‘Tom Jones’ in which Tom and lady friend Mrs. Waters relish their sensuous meal together. It’s still funny.

Everyone present, and some absent, chipped in and many food items got a mention in a morning with a generally light consistency. Here are a few specials: Lettuce that went out on plates with the pies, came back on the plates then was transferred to the next plate to go out (Jack). The fig tree song, ‘just wanna date with you’ (Angus). Pease Brose, a foul greenish paste that only appeared once at breakfast (Ross via Harvey). Golden brown African butternuts – thinking of Snoopy (Keith).

According to Tony, Anna Pavlova didn’t like cream, thought meringue was obscene, and preferred apple turnover. Bill outlined a situation many of us have been in when trying to get a child to finish everything on their plate, giving the mini-lecture on starving Africans who would be glad of any food. The child’s response: ‘they can have my peas’!

Jim outlined the transformative nutritional diet he adopted after running into physical problems whilst building his aeroplane: initial fasting then ghastly entrées including raw beef liver, unsweetened prune juice and cod liver oil. Amazingly, by the third night on this regime, it proved effective and he suddenly felt 100%.

Evie’s ‘wee sketch’ was set in the Embassy Hotel. Only fancy continental breakfasts were on offer with no chef on duty – the hotel management couldn’t be complained to, as they were across the road having a proper cooked breakfast in the local greasy spoon!

Some stronger flavours came through at times – Lucy (via Sarah) mentioned that ‘food may be sparse beyond our means’. Val contrasted the early ages of man, where diet depended on foraging and simple bread, with the vast choices we have every day. Frances evoked the miner’s life underground through ‘the bliss of a hot pasty’. (editor’s note – Judith read her brilliantly clever and humorous insight to the perils possible in making garlic-hummus!)

The morning’s special treat was Frances’s shortbread, and Sheila’s delicious home-made chocolatey bites: a precedent for other themed sessions?

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