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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Bangers, butter, baked spuds. Thanks for the memories!

REMEMBER, remember the fifth of November? Actually, I think I do.

Baked potatoes drenched in real butter. Heavy, gingery, sticky parkin. Pork pies smothered with mushy peas. Bangers and cheesy mash. Treacle toffee. Chocolate fudge cake with lashings of cream. If memory serves well – and these days it doesn’t always – I should be dead by now.

You realise as you grow older that memories are most often transported on a wave of scents and flavours of deliciousness. Recollections of food. And the best of them go back to what’s now condemned as bad food, killer food – what used to be celebrated as tasty, wholesome, home-cooked food.

If any of us dare admit it in earshot of the diet police, it’s what we miss most when those memories flood back with a returning winter.

Now that clocks have turned back and summer’s officially over (when did it begin?) plunging temperatures and long dark nights prompt the nostalgic to hanker after luscious hot pot with black pudding; stew and dumplings; steak and kidney pie in a crusty, buttery pastry.

Now, no can do. Steam your fish, ladies. Eat your greens raw. Step back from that pudding and with luck and a regime of weight and health management you might add another 10 years to your life... or will it just feel that way?

Remember, remember those bonfire feasts? We all do – as if they were only yesterday. But what will those dutifully healthy, ultra-skinny young folks half our age have in their nostalgia chests? Yoghurt bars and fruit smoothies? Celery and apple salads with low-fat dips? Quorn sausages and sugar-free ketchup?

Poor souls. My ageing, furred-up heart, goes out to them all as I look back to the cold, dark, autumnal nights of my youth and say again, without a single reference to fireworks... thanks for the memories.

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