As a child you’re generally unaware of your situation compared to anyone else’s.  This changes as you grow and you start to compare, to desire the things you don’t have, and to see yourself as others do.  I’d like to think that I’m grateful for everything I now have and willing to work hard for the things I don’t.  This may have something to do with my upbringing – the daughter of an RAF engineer and a civil servant, we weren’t exactly in the overly affluent section and, as my mother likes to remind me whenever I’ve had a snobbish moment, I grew up on the RAF equivalent of a council estate.

I remember the bases we lived on, but I don’t remember them as anything other than the playground of my youth. When I recently revisited one I saw it in a different light, becoming only too aware of the cheap housing stock and the industrial looking finish. It bothered me a little, made me wonder if times were hard for my parents, if they had the life they wanted or if it were a compromise. It also humbled me, made me check myself for caring so much that my own house is in such a tumble-down state, and to be grateful that we have the means to own a house at all.

My mum’s menus were pretty standard fare; mince and boiled potatoes, roast dinners, sausages and mash. I swear I was probably in my late teens before I tasted a red pepper or even knew what an avocado was.  It’s fair to say we were pretty reserved. My relationship with food has had its ups and downs.  These days we’re pretty sorted, I enjoy a good meal and of course I cook for my family on a daily basis, but food is just not all that important to me, a fact which might explain why after an hour spent searching, I can find hardly ANY pictures on a food theme.

I did find one though, one that reminded me of the time that my mother finally admitted that the stew that she used to regularly dish up was not chicken, as she had always insisted, but rabbit. I think her oldest granddaughter might be stealing her menu ideas*:

I wrote this post for the Gallery, sorry if it’s a bit maudlin. I should probably have stuck to twiglets….

*This was not set-up for the purposes of the gallery – my children really are this strange….

It all tastes like chicken…
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23 thoughts on “It all tastes like chicken…

  • September 28, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Love your observations on where you grew up. When you go back and see it through different eyes it does make you think about things and your own situation. And your family’s meals sound the same as mine – shepherds pie, sausage and mash, roast on sunday. Don’t think I had lasagne ’til I was in my 20s!

    Great photo – do they pretend to be Glenn Close in the bath?

  • September 28, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Great photo.

    We were also pretty reserved with food, and I grew up as a very fussy eater (not my mother’s fault, unless you count genetics). But I’ve always loved food. Give me something I like, and I will enthuse and gobble it all up, plus seconds. Failing that, I’ll happily go without…

    But I do have food issues. It’s comfort and pleasure and stress relief. As is cooking, although once I’ve cooked, the emotional bit has been dealt with, and I often don’t then feel the need to eat it.

    Hence, perhaps, why I have too many pictures of food to even contemplate finding one!!

  • September 29, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Ha ha love the pic. Can’t believe you’re not that fussed with food. Wish I could adopt that way of thinking. I’m contemplating being hypnotised to change my habits. Great post x

  • September 29, 2010 at 6:53 am

    My children really are that strange too. But you’ve met them. That rabbit looks like it’s pleading for it’s life.
    PS is there such a thing as a nice military base? I’ve never seen one.

  • September 29, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Lasagne? What’s that then?

    They do try and kill each other in the bath – luckily I usually ban sharp implements.

  • September 29, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Mince and potatoes…mmmm, used to have that a lot too and my favourite meal as a child was sausages, mash and beans. My children hate mash potato which means I never get to indulge! 🙁

    I think our play kitchen would have some weird and wonderful concoctions too……love the photo! 😉

  • September 29, 2010 at 9:48 am

    I was definitely a fussy eater too, so no surprise that two of mine are now. I don’t get the same pleasure from cooking, although i’d like to – it’s far to perfunctory for me….

  • September 29, 2010 at 10:04 am

    The picture reminded me of that scene in that film (old age rapidly gathering pace!). It had Michael Douglas in it. Glad it wasn’t a real bunny though because I’d have to cross you off all my ‘friends’ list & send someone round to kill you! 😉

  • September 29, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Not that fussed with food…. chocolate’s a whole other story though! x

  • September 29, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Poor bunny! I know…

    Nice military base? Well, let’s just say there are tiers, and we were in the lower ones… x

  • September 29, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Mine hate mash too – what’s that all about? Thanks lovely x

  • September 29, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Fatal Attraction – exactly! Very worrying…. x

  • September 29, 2010 at 11:45 am

    There also appears to be a child in the sink. Is your daughter re-enacting my childhood?? Rabbit were a luxury etc etc. 🙂

  • September 29, 2010 at 11:45 am

    My father fed me rabbit once and told me it was chicken. It is one of the many reasons I am now vegetarian (one of the others being an exotic vegetable in our house was a runner bean when I was growing up and sometimes…fresh carrots instead of tinned!)

    I am a bit worried about your children though, that bunny is definitely pleading for its life…are they standing just out of shot cackling with laughter?

  • September 29, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Were you kept in a sink? Are you related to Thumbalina? Obviously rabbit was a luxury dish, the rest of the time we ate mouldy potatoes…

  • September 29, 2010 at 11:51 am

    It is apparently a common misdemeanour. In this house my children tend to think that everything is chicken, which keeps it nice and simple I suppose.

    My children were not about when I took this – this is how I found the bunny, it has been left on a slow flame…

  • September 29, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Yes my parents did the it tastes just like chicken too. I grew up wear Rabbits in the fridge were not that uncommon and that game hung in the garage. I can also remembering my dad butchering a cow or some other animal with his saw (nice)! I could show you a very similar image that Mini made, but not a bunny a penguin!

  • September 29, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Great stuff. I remember when my Mum and I used to survive off salmon paste sandwiches and whatever was on offer in Kwik Save!

  • September 29, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Love the picture. My 2.5 year old has the exact same kitchen. It is fabulous isn’t it.

    I look forward to her doing similar things! The comparison to real life is remarkable in their understanding and that is why I get so proud about Pickles. I love it, such sens of humour to.

  • September 29, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Yes, Fatal Attraction came to my mind too 🙂
    I choose to live in the area I grew up in when I returned from Italy after 19 years and it’s not particulary posh I’m afraid but it is ‘home’. Sometimes I loath it, sometimes I like it – for it’s 40 minute train journey to London and 50 minute car journey to the beach. If I won the lottery I’d still probably look for a local mansion 🙂

  • September 30, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    What a lovely post! Ohhh yes food was very reserved at my house when I was growing up to (a sign of the more frugal 70s and 80s I think) – But we ate it all! None of the finikityness that goes on today! Mince & mash, sausage & mash, roast dinner, stew & jackets, bacon & egg, hot pot, potato hash and all again the next week – piles of boiled cabbage and bags of energy!

    Wonder why I don’t cook like that now! so much cheaper, less work and if I recall rightly happier children!

  • October 1, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Frickin’ hell another one who doesn’t particularly like food.
    That’s like German to me.
    Must have been that god awful council estate you grew up in ;<)

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