Tag Archives: food

1932. Abhorrence for brassicas

Vernon had an abhorrence for any form of brassica, be it cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels spout, broccoli, or whatever. Cole slaw was particularly detestable. It was a difficult situation, because if a possible host enquired about “What do you and don’t you like?” Vernon would say that he would eat any and everything. If he said he had a detestation of brassicas he would have left the host in a quandary of having to choose a side dish from a rather more limited list of options.

Don’t get me wrong. If Vernon was invited to dine and the host served, say, sauerkraut, he’d eat it. Why a host would be serving sauerkraut to guests is beyond comprehension. But you get the drift… Vernon did not like brassicas, and he would stop the car after dining out on brassicas and spew.

Vernon’s wife, Wendy, loved brassicas. In fact, when Vernon went away on a business trip, Wendy would stay at home and pig out on cabbage. As Vernon would say upon his return, “Well, I guess it’s better than smoking.” It was mainly the smell of cabbage cooking that put Vernon off eating cabbage altogether. He would begin with a mild retch and before long he’d be out in the garden leaning over the delphiniums and herbing his guts out.

One day, while Vernon was at work, Wendy (with all the windows and doors wide open to create a draught) cooked up cabbage soup with lots of bacon bones. After removing the bones, she pureed the mixture. The soup was devoured that evening along with some freshly baked buns and a hard-boiled egg. Vernon loved it.

That’s because Wendy called it “Smoked Bacon Soup” and didn’t mention the cabbage. Oh the whimsicalities of likes and dislikes!

1866. The final meal

Troy Meadowcroft had waited on death row for what seemed like an eternity. He was due to be put down (in a merciful and humane way) any day now. The newspapers were full of it. The guests to witness his electrocution had been invited and were currently selecting what to wear before heading in that direction, looking at last to be able to avenge their loved ones murder.

One of the more interesting features reported on was the prisoner’s final meal. One could order (within reason) what one wished. Troy had never liked complicated food. He requested simply pork sausages and French fries with splashes of malt vinegar and salt.

Letter One: I was amazed at the reported menu of Troy Meadowcroft prior to his execution. You would think humanity would have dragged itself out of the swamp by now. Pork sausages and French fries! How irresponsible is that for the prison to allow (in fact espouse) such unhealthy food? Are there no principles left when the prison authorities care not a hoot about prisoners’ health? And all that salt! Goodness me!

Letter Two: My religion forbids the imbibing of hog meat. I was horrified at the casual attitude taken by giving the prisoner pork sausages, as if such things didn’t matter. It was nothing short of scandalous. It was an affront to all sincere believers. And to feed a prisoner pig meat when so close to death is an instant invitation to the fires of Hell. I was deeply offended.

Letter Three: I couldn’t help but think that the man called Troy Meadowcroft who was put down recently had a touch of class. No one these days thinks of putting malt vinegar on their pork sausages. It is delicious, and something we used to do frequently when we were younger. Three cheers to the prisoner, and I would wish him a long and fruitful existence of enjoying life’s simple things if that was still possible.

Letter Four: Quite frankly I hope the prisoner choked on his pork sausage. The combination of foods looked disgusting – especially the salt and malt vinegar. I’m normally against the death penalty but in this case I’ll make an exception. The world is certainly better off without him and probably safer. People these days, especially those with money, have no sense of taste. Like my auntie.

Letter Five: What a waste of good food. People don’t seem to realize that people are starving and all we hear about is how a prisoner about to expire anyway is fed pork sausages and French fries. If only they had electrocuted the man a few minutes earlier, and then all that lovely food could have been shared by people in need. Waste not, want not.

Letter Six: Electrocution and lethal injection for condemned prisoners is nothing short of the authorities taking the easy way out. In the old days when we lined people up against a wall to get shot I would imagine you could see the terror in their eyes. They were paying properly for their crime. Regarding the final meal; wouldn’t it have been funny if instead of pork sausages they had stuffed cotton wool inside the sausage skins? Then the man would start to hoe into his final meal and it would all be fake. And use garden fertilizer instead of salt. And French fries made out of chicken poo or something hilarious like that. Stuff like that. You know.

Editor: This correspondence is now closed.

1843. Hearty food

Dean’s doctor told him to start eating healthy. He searched online for healthy foods. There were links to different foods that said “Eat these for a healthy heart”. Dean clicked on them, link after link. It took a good half an hour to download all the pages each with a different healthy food.

The following, in this order, were good for the heart:

Oranges, kale, garlic, red wine, chocolate, sardines, lentils, almonds, pomegranates, blueberries, beets, salmon, turmeric, chia seeds, apples, avocados, eggplant, broccoli, carrots, chicken, chickpeas, coffee, cranberries, figs, flax seeds, red hot chilli peppers, ginger, grapefruit, green tea, kidney beans, kiwi fruit, mackerel, cashew nuts, oatmeal, pears…

Dean tried them all, one after the other, and it made no difference. He was still hungry. Health food doesn’t fill you up.

He finished off with a big slice of cream sponge cake and at last was satisfied.

1837. Mother Thrush’s baby, Guzzle-Beak

“Now, now, Guzzle-Beak,” said Mother Thrush to her baby in the nest. “You must learn not to complain about your food. It doesn’t matter if you find a bit of lettuce in your caterpillar. Just quietly eat it and things will be fine. It won’t kill you.”

“Look at what happened to your brothers and sisters. There were five of you at the start, and they complained about the food. Next thing, they disappeared. It’s a nasty world out there and we must learn to be grateful for small mercies.”

“Your father and I have worn ourselves to a frazzle finding food for you. So a bit of appreciation wouldn’t go amiss. Taking a positive attitude to things will see you right in life. You’ll go places.”

Just then a hawk swooped down from nowhere, grabbed Guzzle-Beak in its talons, and flew off.

“Oh well,” sighed Mother Thrush eating the caterpillar she had brought for her baby and spitting out the bit of lettuce that was mixed in, “Mr. Thrush and I shall start a second clutch tomorrow.”

1815. Cause for celebration

Roderick and David ran a smallish undertakers business. They barely made enough to live on. As Roderick joked, “The new doctor in town is not good for business.”

Then the coronavirus arrived. People were dying all over the place. Business was booming.

“At last we will be able to live it up a little,” said David lyrically. “A better quality wine! Cheeses! The finest cuts of meat! Homemade carrot cake all over the place!” Roderick and David were excellent cooks.

Sadly they both caught the virus and died.

1778. A wallow in luxury

Charles was sent by his boss on an important mission. He would get paid extra, but the negotiations were going to be tough. Imagine getting paid to pamper oneself in a luxurious hotel in Dubai! Spas! Food! Wine! Swimming pool! What a shame it was, thought Charles even before he left for Dubai, that the negotiations would never succeed!

Of course he would stay in the hotel and take advantage of every luxury. The negotiations could go to hell. He was in it for the enjoyment, provided he played his cards right. He had clawed his way up, not without effort, to be number two in the company. Life was a breeze. The boss was weak and ineffective. Charles would take over the company management soon enough.

And play his cards right in Dubai he did! Twice the boss had phoned and twice Charles assured him that things were “tough”. The third time the boss phoned, Charles was wallowing in a luxury soapy bath. The phone slipped through his hand into the soapy suds.

“We seemed to have been cut off,” said Charles later.

“No we didn’t,” said the boss, who had been suspicious of Charles for a time. “I was in the room next door.”

1738. Calamitous culinary concoction

Candy was both an enthusiastic gardener and an enthusiastic cook. She would usually manage to squeeze both hobbies in, at least for a short time, after a long day’s work at the Department of Scientific Research. Years ago she had graduated as an industrial chemist specializing in developing antidotes to ricin. Ricin is a deadly powder that is processed from castor oil plant seeds. The smallest few grains can be fatal. These days Candy had a more mundane task; she works on developing greater flexibility in plastics.

Thirty-seven years ago Candy had married her school sweetheart. The marriage was ongoing. Candy and Herbie had five children and eight grandchildren. They attributed their healthy family to a healthy lifestyle. For example, they never used salt when cooking, although sometimes Candy added a little salt from the salt shaker to her meal once dished up.

(If Candy is the only one using salt, how the heck is the story-teller going to get her to poison her husband with homemade ricin manufactured from her home-grown castor oil plants? She’ll end up poisoning herself.)

Anyway, an opportunity came for Candy to attend a Science Convention in a distant city. She prepared an evening meal for the five days she was away and stored it, each labelled with the day of the week, in the freezer. That way Herbie could come home and simply microwave his dinner. Of course, she prepared far, far too much food. And Candy sprinkled each meal with a liberal dose of homemade ricin processed from her home-grown castor oil plants. Sadly, he should be dead by the time she came back home. After all, she had proof that he had had a torrid affair with Annie, the woman who came once a week to do the washing and ironing. Not to mention Dolores the accountant, and Pam the dentist. Oh, and Sybil the barmaid at the local pub.

And Mitzie…

The affairs aside, Herbie was a great family man, and on the first evening, relieved that his wife wasn’t home to hound him, took all five meals out of the freezer and invited his five children and eight grandchildren to a hearty feast.

1731. It’s still raining

Heidi Windybank had three children to feed and she’d run out of money. She always put the children first. She’d fed them the last crumbs in the cupboard and now she herself was hungry. She had job interview after job interview. It was getting more and more difficult to look presentable at these interviews. It was getting impossible to pay for a bus ticket to the places of interview.

And suddenly! She got a job! It was cleaning rooms in a motel. She knew how to wield a scrubbing brush. She could make a bed to perfection. The problem was she had tried to scrape together some food for the kids and send them off to school, but they would have to do without lunch. The first pay would not be for another two weeks. She was feeling weak and tired. She had to sit down for a bit.

The motel proprietor popped into one of the rooms to check how she was doing. She was sitting on an unmade bed. The motel proprietor dismissed her there and then. He’d had a bad morning; his attempt to purchase another motel had failed, and he was not going to pay riff-raff to do nothing.

Heidi walked home. She was at the end of her tether.

A man and woman called into the house. Teachers had reported that every day her children had eaten no breakfast and were provided with no lunch. The house was cold. They were poorly clothed. She was maltreating her children. The government was taking over. The children would go into foster care.

Do you know her perhaps? She’s that mad woman who walks up and down the main street all day. Everyone says she’s as cuckoo as they come.

That was last winter. Now it’s summer. It’s still raining.

1720. Unhealthy food

Loreta had embraced the relatively new fields of genomics, pharmacogenomics, biogenics and epigenetics. She knew the possible carcinogenic outcome of eating genetically modified tomatoes. She knew that low-fat yoghurt was unhealthy. Shrimps could cause gout. She knew that red meat was… need one go on? In fact, Loreta had made an extensive list of what not to eat and the dire consequence if one did.

Anyway, the coroner determined that the cause of her death was malnutrition.

1706. The tale of two food bins

Imelda always noticed something about the two food bins placed at the exit to the supermarket. There was a bin for food for abandoned and hungry pets, and there was a bin for food for down-and-out humans. The bin for pet food was always bulging to overflowing. The bin for humans never had much; just the occasional can of soup or a packet of pasta.

Imelda had three children. Occasionally she would place something in the bin for needy pets. She usually did it when she had the children with her. She should lead by example. One should always be generous; not over the top, but generous nonetheless.

And then Imelda struck hard times. She had to go to the local soup kitchen and ask for food.

“Unfortunately we don’t have anything on the shelves,” they said.

So Imelda went to the pet rescue place and pleaded food for a fictitious cat.

(Dear All – Starting tomorrow – and for a week or so – I shall simply be posting favourite stories from this blog’s past. I’m currently bogged down with work. When a story’s numbering suddenly goes to 1707 then the original yarns will have recommenced!)