Friday, 22 October 2010
To Casserole, Or Not To Casserole, That Is The Question...
Mark, being the delusional bloke that he is (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) was bound to give me at least one topic suggestion that would stump me at least a little bit. But I never dreamed that of the five requests he would make of me, casseroles would be one of them (and if I'm worried about this post, I still have darts and Noel Edmunds to cover in the next few days *faints*).
I'm not a fan of casseroles, in fact I've never liked them at all. Possibly because my mother used to make them every week during the winter (along with the obligatory stew, which I also disliked), and there would inevitably be several vegetables lurking inside that would make me cringe with every forced mouthful. The thing is, I was brought up to eat everything on my plate whether I liked it or not. If I wanted 'afters', I had to eat my main meal. An odd sprout left here, a spoonful of peas left there, that was allowed, but the majority of the meal had to be consumed.
We also had set meals for certain days, depending on the season. Summers were cool because we basically lived off various salads, which I've always loved, but winter meals were a different deal. Sundays would obviously be dominated by the roast chicken dinner (which fortunately I love), Fridays would be fish of some sort (I detest fish), Mondays were ham, mashed potatoes and parsley sauce (hate ham, loathe parsley sauce), and Wednesdays were stew days (or casseroles, one or the other). Luckily the other days weren't so structured, and we had things like steak pies (yum), corned beef hash (yum yum yum), curries and pasta (yumminess all round).
Anyway, when it was casserole or stew day, I would dread sitting down to eat because I knew I would have to hold my breath so as not to smell the food, and bypass chewing as much as possible and move straight to swallowing, thus avoiding much of the tasting process. I still cringe at the memory of those times when a hint of swede or parsnip hit my taste buds and I had to stop myself from... well, you get the idea.
You may think I'm a fussy eater, but I'm actually not too bad. I like way more than I don't like. If you want to know what a fussy eater is, then you should meet my kids. My son lives off a diet of cereal, cheese spread sandwiches and chips (that's fries to those of you in the US of A). My daughter is not much better, though she will at least have ham, eggs (but only the yolk, mind you), sausages and fishcakes. Offer them real fish, and they would laugh. And meat? Uh-uh. As for vegetables, you can forget it. I do a lovely Sunday roast every week (well, actually the hubby does it now because I work every Sunday), and out of all of the meat and the trimmings, my kids have potatoes. That's it. My daughter will have a sausage on the side rather than real meat, and they'll both have the gravy, but as for the idea of giving them a proper roast dinner, I might as well talk to the wall.
Now you might think that I should follow my mother's example and tell them that they have to eat their meals whether they like them or not, but you haven't met my kids. I've tried so many times to be firm with them, and each time they have gone without food for the night, or they have literally made themselves sick after forcing a mouthful down their throats. I'm sorry, but even though I know they're manipulating me, I can't stand back and watch my kids vomit, or go hungry. Plus having my own bad food experiences in my youth makes it doubly hard to force my kids into eating stuff they don't like.
So to answer the original question, it's definitely Not To Casserole. It's just not happening in the Smith household, no sirree.