One often hears these passing remarks about eating - "I like my food", "He likes his food" and "She likes her food". What the? Doesn't everybody like their food? Well no, they don't. A small percentage of people struggle with eating. They realise it is necessary and that it ought to be relished but somehow when plates of food are placed in front of them, psychological alarm bells ring.
Once, I knew a petite woman who had developed an array of tactics to camouflage what I now realise was an eating disorder. To begin with, she never wanted much on her plate. Then, in company, as the meal began, she would start talking. There I would be trying to shovel spadefuls of lovely grub down the tunnel of my hunger and she would be yakking away instead of tucking in.
I noticed her tiny mouthfuls and the way she pushed food around her plate. There were always leftovers which she might attempt to hide with a paper napkin. She never fancied dessert and once I heard her vomiting in the bathroom ten minutes after eating. I did not know her well enough to quiz her about her eating habits and besides I wouldn't have known what to say.
Yesterday afternoon, I prepared yet another Sunday dinner for my COVID companions - my lovely wife, my lovely daughter, my lovely son-in-law and my lovely granddaughter. How come I am not lovely?
On the menu was a basted pork loin joint, savoy cabbage, roasted potatoes, roasted carrots, Yorkshire puddings, homemade gravy, apple sauce and a vegetable I grew on our vegetable plot this year - kohlrabi. Preparing the kohlrabi was difficult as the bulbous root vegetables - somewhat like small turnips had attracted a slug fest in the summer. The little blighters had tunnelled hither and thither, leaving hollows and deep indentations. It was all I could do to make a small pan of clean white chunks of kohlrabi. Maybe this is why I last grew it twenty five years ago.
Anyway, there were no eating disorders visible at the table. As usual, we all got stuck in. The pork was tender, the potatoes were crispy, the gravy was flavoursome and the kohlrabi was sweet and turnipy if indeed "turnipy" is a word. There was New Zealand sauvignon blanc to drink and Stew had a bottle of McEwan's best bitter. Once again, Little Phoebe enjoyed her Yorkshire pudding and of course she is one. Just like me.
Come to think of it, our esteemed prime minister could also be described as "turnipy"... Who would have ever imagined that this great nation would one day be led by a bulbous globe of kohlrabi?