Remembrance Of Dinners Past

It’s funny how these memories come to you. Their source is unknowable yet the sensations are vivid, as if it hadn’t been decades since experiencing those feelings, being in those places and doing those things.

This time it was linked to food and specifically to dinner. I was thinking about some of the things I used to look forward to and even get a little excited about, when I knew my mum was cooking them. And then I was back there: the four of us – dad and mum, my sister and me – at the breakfast bar. On our plates were peas and baked beans and sausages (a thick, brown sausage, probably beef), and an egg (fried). Mum would ask if you were hungry enough for two eggs and it seemed that adults might have two, while kids should have one, but we were still given the option. The baked beans sauce merged onto the egg part of the plate but the yolk didn’t merge back because I used to eat the yolk first, having been told by an adult that it was the best part. This was the period when I developed a technique for cutting sausages which resist the sawing action of weaker childish hands. You stab the sausage first, with your knife, in the place where you mean to cut it, and then saw it through the cut part which now has compromised structural integrity to the extent that it is relatively easy for a five year-old to complete the job. I would apply tomato sauce to my sausages in the early part of dinner – in the feasting your eyes on the meal phase – and would eat the cut segments with huge satisfaction as we watched Doctor Who on the TV. The Daleks and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart were particular favourites of mine.

It may be that this only happened a few times. It may be that it happened once. But the strength of the collection of smells and sounds and the feeling of satisfaction, of happiness with the food and the TV show and with hardly a thought of school again the next day, was overwhelming, and I think that in that time and place I must have been happy.

Published in: on May 25, 2018 at 4:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

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