Monday, July 2, 2012

The White Dinner


Picture the scene, one desperate English woman enjoying her last few days in her home town.  She’s already mightily pissed off that she hasn’t managed to spend more money on clothes (sod’s law, why is that when you have money to spend you never find anything you like, but when you’re skint you see loads of things…), and has decided to abandon her wheat free diet for the last couple of days in order to gorge herself stupid on food that she won’t get in Spain, in particular a take-away curry.

Look at what you could have won


After a gruelling episode of final shopping in English shops I returned home laden with goodies for my children and was eagerly looking forward to the curry that we’d discussed about ordering the night before.  You can imagine my utter disappointment when my Mum turned round and said “I’ve got some cod in for dinner tonight.”

Cod?  Cod?  Hmm, so you’ve obviously spent too much of your pension on this here said cod so I’d better not make a fuss about the fact that I am going to have dull, dull cod to eat instead of a chicken tikka masala and naan bread.

At 6.00pm precisely my Mum asked me if I was ready for dinner, I replied that yes I was, given that I'd eaten lunch at midday, and up she got and began (I thought) cooking. 

“I’ll do mashed potato with it!”

Huh, cod & mash? What the fuck? 

“Do you want vegetables with it?”

Erm… yes.

“I thought about making a cheese sauce, do you want some cauliflower with it?”

Well this is sounding slightly more appetising.

Some time passes….

“Dinner will be a bit longer, the cauliflower needs cooking some more…”

More time passes

“There isn’t any cheese, do you fancy parsley sauce?”

Not especially, but I had a gambit: “Well I’ll eat that but I’m not sure Joseph will”

“Well it’s only dried parsley not fresh, or do you just want a white sauce?”

Can this meal sink any lower?

Hmmm, white sauce, cod, mash potato and cauliflower … that’s a whole lot of bland white food going off here… especially when I wanted a curry.  A non-white, flavoursome curry.

Being brave I said “a white sauce is a bit boring”, I didn’t have the heart to say that a sauce with dried parsley in it would taste like shit.

Half an hour passes…

“Ooh there’s some gorgonzola in the fridge, I could make a blue cheese sauc e!”

“Yeah OK, sounds nice”.  It’s no lamb biryani.

Hasn’t the cauliflower been cooking for nigh on an hour now?  And the fish?

Another half hour goes by…

“The sauce is a bit thin, I need to thicken it up a bit”

Yeah, whatever…

About a year later, and I am finally presented with a plate of white food, on a white plate on a white tray, not even a pea or a floret of broccoli to break up the non-colour.  I bite my lip and suppress my tears.

I sat and looked at my tray of white mush and pondered how difficult it would be to take a picture of it on the iPad to share with my twitter friends.  Unfortunately it was charging up in the corner of the room and I figured I wouldn’t really be able to get away with it, which is sad because I think you need a visual image of how unpalatable this meal looked.

The cod, against all odds, actually tasted OK, although it hadn’t been de-boned.  The mash, overlooking the fact that my mother has decided, once again, to ignore the fact that I don’t eat carbs after breakfast, was lacking any seasoning.  The cauliflower, with every nutrient and vitamin boiled the hell out of it, tasted of water and has the consistency of erm… lumpy water.  The blue cheese sauce tasted solely of milk.

I sniffed and sulked, and tentatively ate my white mush but I was hopping mad thinking of the tasty, spicy, yummy curry that I should have been eating instead.  I swore excessively under my breath and thought terrible thoughts as I tucked in.  And yes reader, I ate it all.  I had to, Christ on a bike, I was fucking starving.

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