Saturday, 21 January 2012

January 21st - "Not that again" and "Anything"

Dear Nigel,

The Red-haired Hannah is flying off to Spain tomorrow, and off to her au pairing job near Madrid. I ask her what she would like to eat, this being her last day, and she says,"Anything". Anything, was on offer last night as she sailed in from her nightclubbing responsibilities with all her Uni friends in the North. I had two soups left over from the Yoga lunch and homemade bread, but of course she didn't like either of them.

The Yoga lunch went well and i needn't have worried about dear little Olive; she has the constitution of an Ox, and will probably outlive us all. My teenager-in-the-house, Tom, was glad they'd left the Smoked Salmon soup for him and made short work of it. His usual comment, as he sits down to the table, is,"Not that again". This
 seems to be a general teenage thing (and, to be fair to him, is getting less frequent as he matures). It doesn't seem to matter whether it's been six months since i made a particular dish or last week; he's even been known to say "Not that again" about something I've never cooked before.

I have this theory, that there is a reflex arc that goes from nose to brain to stomach which gets quicker as we age. No adult has been known to utter the immortal phrase "Not that again" - at least not to my knowledge. The comment, "that smells good", or a general salivating or tummy rumble, is more likely. If, then, the reflex is slower in a young person and goes quicker instead from eyes to brain to mouth (i won't say bypasses the brain entirely...) then maybe that is the reason such a comment is universal. What are your thoughts?

I see you are having Mackerel tonight. It's not a fish I've bought much, but as you team it with one of my favourite ingredients, smoked paprika, i'm tempted to give it a go. I'm fond of fish - i ought to be, my Grandpa was a fish monger - but i don't like them too fishy, if you know what i mean.

Enjoy your little fishes,



  1. I find that when my kids say they want "anything" for tea, the unspoken end of that sentence is usually "anything other than what you are planning to make"

    1. Exactly. I think i have some of the fussiest children on the planet, and my older daughter's not much better - i rather hoped she'd grow out of it, somewhere about the age of 18

  2. That is funny! Has the man himself ever commented??