Bread Pudding or Rather Brussels Sprouts

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Sun Jul 8 15:59:37 EDT 2001

>Ven wrote:
>>My parents did this once, they made me sit at the table until I had
>>finished my tinned peaches. They appeared to be very indignant
>>because tinned peaches were a "treat" (oh how the food tastes of
>>the British have changed).
>This made me think of an autobiography we have at home, of an author called
>Sarah Shears. (I haven't read any of her novels, but this book is good-
>about being a country child during the first world war.) It's called
>"Tapioca For Tea", because her mother made her eat the remains of her
>tapioca at teatime if she wouldn't finish it at lunch, and she couldn't have
>anything else until she did- I haven't read it for years, but I remember the
>description of horrible lumps sitting on her plate and just not being able
>to bring herself to swallow them. (I love tapioca, though maybe that's
>because *my* mother could make it without getting it lumpy.)

And there's a similar scene in _All of a Kind Family_, I think - 
although it isn't dessert.  The poor mother is almost as desperate as 
the child, but she *can't* give in, because it's a food the child 
really likes (potatoes, is it?, soup?  something innocuous), and they 
haven't much money, so can't afford any developing pickiness.

That's another book which impressed me with food descriptions when I 
was young.  I always remembered the scene when they went to the 
market and each girl had a penny,  and one of them got chick peas, 
which were described as spicy.  I was so disappointed when I first 
tasted chick peas/garbanzo beans because they weren't spicy, although 
I like them a lot now.

I love tapioca too, btw.  And rice pudding.  And so do the girls, 
although I wouldn't dream of forcing them to eat it.  But when I 
lived with my grandparents my grandmother made me eat some of 
everything that was going.  I really *hated* what she called 
"dangerous dessert", which was stewed fruit kept in a big old 
crockery thing, into which all odds and ends of alcoholic drinks were 
poured.  It got pretty ferocious, but I still had to eat it.


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