In Ireland (at least in my house back then) the main meal of the day was at lunchtime and confusingly called 'dinner'. In the evening (dinnertime) you'd have a light meal called 'tea' which was usually sandwiches or salad or the type of food that most people think of as 'lunch'. We called this 'teatime' as it was accompanied by copious amounts of hot tea. Is it any wonder people take the piss out of the Irish?
My mother is a great cook and back then she liked to try new recipes but my father is strictly a meat n' two veg man who would turn up his nose at anything 'fancy'. His idea of sauce is Bisto gravy and nothing else. For him there are only 2 herbs n' spices = salt n' pepper. Just the smell of garlic has the potential to drive him to drink, which is not a good thing for a man who took the Pioneer pledge of total abstinence from alcohol at age 16 and never touched a drop since. I have a hefty wager with a sibling he'll cave in any day know. Thankfully, his offspring have more than made up his shameful lack of support for the Irish Vitners Association.
So we were somewhat restricted in the choice of menu growing up but it was all fine fare to be sure. In truth, I had my own dietary fussiness to contend with. I was the quintessential 'Jack Sprat' in that I would eat no fat. I methodically and surgically dissected and removed every single minute piece of fat from any meat on my plate. Even though my Dad was/is a fussy food fucker himself, he did his damndest to convert me to the culinary joys of fat. I still vividly remember being semi force fed a piece of steak with a big wedge of fat and almost retching on the spot.
Since leaving food (even fat) on your plate was taboo, I leveraged sleight of hand and diversionary tactics to deposit the fat cuttings behind the kitchen radiator heater. That all worked fine until the festering mess started to shhhtink and 'my jig was up' so to speak although I danced another jig after my backside had been tanned for my offences. They were still finding moldy rasher rinds years after I left home.
So the weekly menu rarely varied from
- Sunday - roast lamb or beef or pork & potatoes
- Monday - mutton stew & potatoes
- Tuesday - bacon & cabbage & potatoes (FYI - we don't eat 'corned beef' in Ireland - some Yank invented that lie)
- Wednesday - something & potatoes & mashed turnips & parsnips (It doesn't matter what the something was I just hated turnips & parsnips)
- Thursday - mixed grill (bacon, sausage, egg, fried bread & fried potatoes)
- Friday - fish & mashed potatoes as dictated by GOD! - (Jesus, where's the fuckin' loaves o' bread?)
- Saturday - roast chicken & potatoes
In retrospect and on a more serious note, it's a good thing there wasn't a short supply of potatoes when I was growing up or we'd have been bloody famished.
So how was the food when and where you were a wee nipper?
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