48OE Blog  
Nov 10

Written by: 48OE Admin
10/11/2011 18:46  RssIcon

Dinner as any working man will tell you is the midday meal. 19th Century Artisans always went home for a brief dinner at midday. Luncheon or lunch as it became abbreviated used to mean a ladies’ light meal. When the Prince of Wales stopped to eat a dainty luncheon with lady friends he was considered rather effeminate.

So as not to be cast with the same effeminacy, I was eating dinner at around 12.45 today. Now this is not an unusual occurrence, it is not lavish and is normally local bread, cheese and fruit. There was nothing unusual about today and I was unprepared for what unfolded. I had just made myself comfortable at the table and was about to sate the cries from my stomach which was complaining that I had missed breakfast.

The next thing I knew I heard a bellow (sufficient to require ear defenders in any industrial setting!) stating in no uncertain terms 'STOP!:- YOU DO NOT WANT THAT!'.

Now, since the age of seven, I have always had a penchant for condiments with my favourite being Piccalilli. This stems from a homemade variety by my Auntie Gladys. No Ploughmans would ever be considered complete without this treat. In more recent years with the sad demise of my Aunt and all her culinary skills I now have to patronise commercial brands. These are far from the superb tastes I remember as a child. Needs must, but today, most commercial examples seem to be made rather like baby food and lack the large vegetable chunks that crunch and give texture as well as flavour.

However at the moment I heard the shouted command 'STOP!' my hand was poised on the Piccalilli jar above my modest plate of bread and cheese. I froze completely bemused as to what I was doing wrong. At moments like this it is surprising how quickly the brain works, your whole life flashes before you. Now those of you who know 'She who must not be named' know what terror she can strike.

Had I failed to observe some etiquette such as passing the pickle the wrong way around the table? Had there been a revelation in the press about the dangers of consumption of chutney? Were nuts or e-numbers about to strike me down? None of these or others beside seemed to explain the ferocity of the language and attack.

Seconds later a further loud utterance declared 'YOU DON'T LIKE IT AND YOU KNOW YOU WON'T EAT IT'. I did not know what to say. I am sure we have all had our pleasures denied by people in authority. At this stage I was unsure whether just to concede for an easy life and hide a jar in my workshop for future private pleasure or make a stand - I did like it and I would eat it!

Now close friends will know this was just bravado on my part - I would never make a stand.

I decided to avoid a scene and turned round slowly to say sorry and reassure that I really quite like pickle. As the words came cautiously I turned fully, and then realised 'She who must not be named' was talking to the cat.