Secret Recipes for Longevity from the 1980’s

Grans diet is troublesome.

And I’m not sure. But it’s either rubbing off on the wee Little Fella, or he has issues.

Or both.


Dinner time can be amusing. Amongst the deep span of generations between Gran and the Little Fellas there is a whole galaxy of conversational mishaps and mash-ups that wizz and zip around. Cruising along the guts of it all is a meteorite belt where I kind of float, just through the middle of the conversation. Largely a quiet, satellite witness. Sometimes in a very subversive and therapeutic way, dropping quiet casual comments into the mix purely for my own sanity.

“Is he coming to the table for dinner?” Gran might ask.

“No, not tonight Mum. He’s been kidnapped by leprechauns and spray-painted pink.”

Gran will just casually reply a kind of blanket Good or Yes. Not really quite hearing what I’ve said. It’s a cheap trick and not the sort of thing I would do in public. (Perhaps. Maybe . . ) But there have been times when for my own mental sanity I have dealt out a few quips. I choose my time, place and company, but hey, I don’t drink or smoke. So quip I do.

Anyway . . .

Grans cooking ‘techniques’ were honed in the before time and settled, complacently snuggled, in the pages of Women’s Day and New Idea magazines from the 80’s and 90’s. That’s pretty much where and when they based themselves around packaged ‘instant’ food and microwave meals. Intermittently interrupted with the dieting tips, recipes and trends of the times. But most family meals loosely revolved around steak and frozen packet vegetables, according to my wife, and frozen packet vegetables and steak. But under the guise of wholesome, home cooked meals.

Future generations will not be reading copies of Secret Recipes for Longevity from The 1980’s. I’ll put money on it. Though stranger things have happened.

Gran later became a sucker to the taste and convenience of convenience food, and Pa Prof dutifully obliged by making frequent trips out in the car to buy a meal. Pasties for lunch, take-away meals or frozen meals for dinner. From there, Gran’s taste buds, her health and her appreciation of Real Food took a direct dive south bound. Pa didn’t ever get that far, he conked out along the way. Their fuel costs, food costs  and medical expenditure however, went up.

It gets further complicated from there as Gran often adds salt to meals. Even before she’s  tasted it – this irks me – but that’s life. Auto-pilot habits are not always a positive thing. Now she has to ease off the salt. Doctor, has said. It’s messing with her chemistry. This once heeded advice only lasted a week. The Taste Monster has Gran wrapped around his finger you see.

So you get something of the picture, because this inevitably means that Gran gets a meal that is quite different to the rest of the family. I don’t think this rubs well with the littlest Little Fella sometimes. And being main cook and dishwasher myself, it is not convenient.

The littlest Little Fella takes issue with dinner time. And I in turn take issue with his issue. Especially being the main cook and dishwasher!

Little Fella No. 1 was never a problem and always got whatever we ate dished up to him to try. It may be a challenge to the littlest fella’s character, but I persevere with dishing up a little of everything for him to try also. I usually end up eating it myself eventually.

Mrs PP and I have reasoned that our first son never had the opportunity to make comparisons with what he had and what Gran has, as she was not living with us at the time. We’re not sure this is the cause of the situation though. I have tried to create a bit of variety and let the Little Fellas choose what they might like to eat. Tonight I made one dish – which is quite normal – but I divided it, varied one a little and let them choose which one they wanted. I don’t know if it will always work, but there certainly wasn’t any complaining or whinging or tears tonight. Bonus.

The only complaint was from Gran – who ate all of her pizza – but apparently I had dinner on the table far too early. I’m doomed either way. There is always something on TV that can’t be missed!

Especially cooking shows.



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