I am not going to lie or pretend otherwise: I am the fussiest eater in the world. There are far more things I don’t like than things I do. Catering for me is a nightmare for anyone who has to cater for me. Christmas is especially grim.
How about not liking turkey? That’s not a good start. Or parsnips. Or a large number of other vegetables too many to list? I am a walking embarrassment to my family.
Given the choice, Christmas dinner would be steak and chips, with mushrooms, fried onions (still the best smell in the world) and lashings of mayonnaise, washed down by a few pints of Thatchers Gold cider. Dessert would be that old favourite cheese cake followed by a large tumbler of Metaxa. This would be after a breakfast of bacon sarnies and a tea of mature cheddar cheese on toast. It’s never going to happen, is it?
It’s an awful lot to do with my upbringing. I don’t think I ever tasted chicken until a KFC opened in our village and turkey was what posh people had. Vegetables were peas, potatoes were only ever roasted. I think we had crumpets for tea, cooked over a coal fire. That must have been so healthy.
Going out to someone else’s house is a bigger nightmare still, since I have either to pretend I am not hungry, that I am feeling slightly under the weather or – and here’s the tricky one – be honest and admit that I can’t stand everything that’s on the table. This involves considerable embarrassment on my part and leaves me absolutely desperate to get home and have some toast with Marmite.
I promise, should you ever be so silly to invite me to nibbles, that it won’t be your fault when I leave almost everything you put in front of me. If you have any ideas for a cure or a solution, please send me details. I can only begin to imagine how nice lamb, fish (other than chip shop cod), vegetables and just about everything else I won’t touch actually is.