We moved to the Isles of Scilly when I was 12, and it ruined me for beaches for ever.
It was such a beautiful place to be, but sometimes living there brought challenges. In the summer a regular helicopter service ran several times a day from Penzance, along with daily sailings by the ‘Scillonian’ – the ship which brought people and goods. In the winter or in bad weather we were some times cut off, and today I am remembering the time the crew of ‘The Scillonian’ went on strike.
“Well, I’ve stocked up on rice and pasta!” said my Mum the next day at lunch, and I remember my dad’s disbelieving look. ‘If you’ve bought rice and pasta, things are worse than I thought!’ he said.
How important it is to feel we have enough to eat, and just as important maybe, that it is the right food. I have never been a fan of potatoes, but after three weeks of Borneo in 2005 we went into a KFC in desperation and ordered ‘Country potatoes’. Nothing ever tasted so good.
Riko (our Borneo son-in-law) eats “Stir-fried papaya leaves and papaya blossoms, both of which are very bitter” when he needs some comfort. Hmmmn.
I have been trying to cook specially interesting or unusual food recently*, to make our daily meal a focus point for a day which is mostly full of Not Much.
How much harder it would be if a favourite ingredient was simply not available – just as ‘Tiny meat’ is inaccessible for the Borneos at the moment. ‘Tiny meat’ is what Arthur calls minced beef, and it is his favourite. It’s only available in Kota Kinabalu, which is not in their district and so they are not allowed to go there – so no Tiny meat. That must be tough when you’re six years old and have already been in isolation in the jungle for three weeks – although ballet class can take place online thank goodness.
I seem to have spent my adult life wishing for foods which are somewhere else. Digestive biscuits. Clotted cream. Good German coffee. Riko’s green papaya salad. Timtams.
Just now, I hear in my head the voice of one of my students, whose answer to the question “What is your favourite breakfast?” was “Anything, as long as I’m with my family!”
That’s not possible for lots of us just now, any more than I can tuck into a cream tea. But let’s remember…
* The specially exotic side dish yesterday is shown in this post’s header.
The Cabin Fever part
And here’s a British council lesson about food in modern Britain:
Cooking verbs in English (with New Zealand accent!)
Whatever you’re cooking – or eating – today: Guten Appetit and stay well!