ManicMammy's Blog

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Posted on | June 18, 2008 | 3 Comments

What are the dishes and food that you remember from your childhood?

As the eldest of 7 children, with only 10 years between me and the youngest, I recall there always being a mad rush around mealtimes when we were younger. The main meals I remember are fried liver on a Thursday (my mother had an obsession with us getting enough iron so this was a regular dish), tuna in a cheese sauce with mashed potatoes which I recall loving and minced meat, beans and mashed potatoes which we would eat mixed together as a big cake on our plates.

Some of my siblings loved Chef brown sauce and to this day, its smell makes me ill. Myself and one younger sister insisted on YR sauce. Mam made a mean chicken curry also which we would be given in a large tupperware container on a Sunday evening when we were returning to Dublin to college. It would last at least a couple of days so she was happy we were eating well enough for at least that amount of time. It was very good.

My father was always partial to steak, fried onions, finely cut chips and gravy just made with water added to the frying pan once the steak was out. Christmas cake with butter and marietta biscuits also come to mind. Though my mother didn’t often buy confectionary, we had apple trees in the back garden, so when I got a sweet craving, I’d make 5 or 6 apple tarts as 1 or 2 would never last long. I remember once when my parents were away, finding a tub of icecream in the freezer and making a baked Alaska. Delicious. I loved to bake which is something I haven’t really done since then.

Which brings me to this series, currently running on BBC2 in the weekday evenings. Its hosted by Nigel Slater and is a real feelgood programme. Each episode revolves around a different guest and starts with their taste of childhood, progressing to taste of their college or young adult years to foods they now love as an adult who’s successful in their career – foods that have a special meaning for them. Its part interview, part cookery/food programme and the style is very easy going and laid back. Nigel seems to have a talent for putting people at their ease and the talk takes place whilst they’re enjoying the food and so it tends to be more informative, entertaining and interesting than other standard talkshows or interview style tv.

I missed the first couple of episodes, it slipped under my SKY+ radar, but have managed to catch Timothy Spall, Jo Brand and Neil Morrissey amongst others. The interviews have been great, sometimes funny and sometimes touching. The part where the guest is given a challenge is a bit naff really: cooking blindfolded etc. But the section where someone close or related the the guest cooks for them is entertaining and often gives a deeper insight into them.

The recipes vary from complicated to basic student favourites of Spaghetti Bolognese or cheese on toast. Some are the guests’ and some are Nigel’s versions of the food they love. Definitely worth watching, I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

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3 Responses to “Yummmm”

  1. Deborah
    June 18th, 2008 @ 5:28 pm

    Ooh – sounds interesting. I will look out for this tonight. Really like Nigel Slater.

  2. Manic Mammy
    June 19th, 2008 @ 7:19 am

    Hey Deborah,
    Yep, big fan of his too. Its always his cookbooks I go to first for recipes -his onion gravy is fab. You get the impression that, unlike some other TV chefs, he really loves and relishes food.

  3. ellen
    June 19th, 2008 @ 1:29 pm

    Hi M M, Thanks for dropping by and leaving that lovely comment. I moved here 2 years ago having lived abroad for many years with a couple of years in Dublin under my belt for my sins. We love it here and plan on staying a while.

    Great blog yourself!!

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