We woke up to snow this morning. Not a lot but snow nonetheless. It was also blizzarding nicely. It was still doing that when my daughter dropped her little chap off at our house. By late morning, though, the sky had cleared and the sun had come out. We went for a walk round the the village, past the millponds and through the trees, where the little chap enjoyed the puddles. They promised cold front had definitely moved in though. The ground may not be cold enough for the snow to stick for long but the air is cold, despite the sunshine.
A lot of fuss has been made about Will Smith punching someone I’ve not heard of at the Oscars. Amy Schumer declares herself completely traumatised by having seen it. Sorry, Amy, you can be upset but witnessing one punch does not leave a person traumatised! Some people are saying this was the most shameful night in the history of the Oscars. Then a friend of mine posted this:
“The year Hattie McDaniel won her Oscar for Gone with the Wind, people had to pull favours to let her in the building, and she was made to sit at the far end of the room, against the wall with her agent. So, no … Not the most shameful night in Oscar history. Not even top twenty.”
I came across this quite lengthy article about how we have lost touch with proper food. Most people, the writer maintains, no longer know how to test fruit and veg for freshness by gently squeezing, especially as so much fruit and veg comes plastic wrapped. Well, actually, many places that still sell loose fruit and veg, while happy for you to select the items you want to buy, ask you, please, not to squeeze the produce. But I still gently test avocados. The “ripe and ready to eat” label often lies! And where possible I do like to buy my fruit and veg loose. A plastic box can hide a mess of soggy tomatoes at the bottom. Sometimes though, you have to give in and buy the pre-packed stuff. I draw the line, though, at buying ready-chopped vegetables. What must they spray them with to prevent them going brown and messy?
Then there’s the sell-by and use-by dates. Fruit and veg don’t really have a use-by date. Yes, Inknow they do but they don’t need one. You can tell when a carrot is past it. But apparently masses of perfectly good stuff is thrown out because it’s past that date. Supermarkets won’t even consider selling you such food even one day after the sell-by date, not even at a discount. They are afraid of being sued, I suppose. But what a waste of fruit and veg.
Meat products are a different matter. I respect their use-by dates. But I’m afraid milk and yoghurt and such are subject to the sniff test: if it smells all right a day after it’s use-by date, then it’s probably okay. If, however, it curdles when you pour the milk in your tea or coffee, it’s probably gone off and you’ve wasted your beverage! So it goes!
The writer of the article was somewhat shocked to discover that some American children when shown an aubergine did not recognise it but thought it was a pair. That’s a bit extreme, I thought. How many British children would recognise an aubergine? Come to that, a fair few adults wouldn’t recognise one! Besides, it’s a seriously over-rated vegetable in my opinion and only improves when it takes on the flavour of other veg it’s cooked with. In fact, I probably break all all sorts of rules about making ratatouille by omitting the aubergine altogether.
The best story about children’s awareness of food is the one where children were asked where milk and eggs come from. Answer: the supermarket! But of course!
I do agree with the writer’s insistence that we need to re-establish our connection with what we eat. Well, as a nation, but not me personally. I really love the combination of colours when you chop up peppers to roast them in the oven or to stir fry them in the wok. My eldest granddaughter and I regularly exchange photos of dishes we have prepared for the evening meal. Food definitely should be a total sensory experience: look, taste, smell and sometimes sound. Doubters should watch our smallest grandchild eat a bunch of grapes or, better still, demolish an apple so that all is left is the stalk and the smallest core possible!
Mind you, he also enjoys disgusting-looking bubble-gum flavour ice-lollies, given half a chance!
Thinking about food, on the radio news at lunchtime, on an item about the cost of living going up, they spoke to someone who organises a food-bank in her district. As the price of food has risen, contributions to collections for food-banks, located outside many supermarkets, have been going down. People are thinking twice about buying something extra to put in the food-bank collection. The spare cash is being eaten up by the increased cost of their own weekly shop. Asked how she is managing to provide balanced food parcels for those who come to the food-bank, the interviewee said that she and a friend are largely funding it themselves. But she is unsure how long she and her friend can continue to do so.
There is something wrong with our society if such things are going on in one of the richest countries in the world.
Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!