Sit there until you've eaten it

It was my personal Mount Everest, the demon of my childhood and resulted in numerous wasted hours sitting and staring at wilted, desperately unappealing piles of cold, congealed, food I wouldn't touch with a bargepole.

Friday, 12th January 2018, 5:03 pm
Updated Friday, 12th January 2018, 5:05 pm
Cauliflower (not a steak)

Safe to say I wasn’t so keen on the (usually overcooked) vegetables or meat provided by my parents with regularity.

My diet was limited to say the least - not helped by the fact my generation was not subjected to the breadth of restaurant food, coffee shop delight, takeout choice and spicy, flavoured, options that children today seem to take for granted.

My mother’s, or on rare occasions my father’s, cooking was the only option - and safe to say it wasn’t all that great - which they at least did readily admit.

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Though I was an ungrateful child.


Tied into the fact I was basically an athlete as a child, a competitive swimmer training and competing the length of the country, it is understandable my mum and dad wanted me to imbibe a vitamin.

But fussy as I was, I did not want the food supplied with the exception of chips, crisps and roast chicken.

So many an angry, silent, hungry, battle was waged, sitting alone and disconsolately staring at the table and attempting to hide green beans and cauliflower under the remnants of a barely-chewed pork chop.

I was expected to sit there until I’d eaten it, which never happened.

My alternative punishment being a spoonful of cod liver oil.

The horror.

So I have some sympathy this week for Marks and Spencer, who I can only presume were trying to play the mum and dad card, by attempting to flog a slice of cauliflower as a vegi-steak in well-meaning attempt to sell ice to the eskimos.

They have been widely derided for this move aimed at January health-kickers but it could be argued, are simply attempting the profit-making equivalent of attempting to mix undercover peas into mashed potato, or crushing undetectablebroccoli into a perfectly innocent-looking portion of cottage pie.

Any remember Mighty White bread with its secret stores of fibre?

Trouble is, as M&S discovered, much like mashed-up cauliflower ‘potato’ and Courgetti, it’s a mountain few want to climb.