Daily Prompt: Edible does not always mean that it was good

Teigwaren und Lattich mit Speck

Unfortunately I do not have an origianl photo of “greens” because it was years ago when I last had the pleasure of a meal with “greens”. I can only show you cooked lettuce on the left with an accompaniment of pasta. But what were greens? If my mum was still here to answer my question. she would tell me I do not realise the value of good food. For mum, greens were greens and grew green in large bunches of green leaves, and above all, they were the cheapest vegetable you could buy.

Ok, mum could not cook. The problem was she thought she could. Dad loved her food, but he was glad she did the cooking as dad did not realised that food had to be cooked. He was not a gourmet and as long as meat and veg and potato arrived on the table, everything was fine. He visited me with mum a couple of times in Switzerland, and I was then cooking for two adults and four kids daily Swiss style. Mum and dad would eat what they were served, although they regarded it as something completely different. Dad’s remark was “they like that sort of thing”, me and Mrs. Swiss and the family being “they”, but I am digressing.

So I grew up with home cooking. The British do not have a reputation of being the cordon bleu cooks in the world and I can support this idea, but I was always something completely different, even as a kid.

“Eat your greens”

“I don’t like them”

“They are good for you.”

I was confronted with a plate with a collection of green leaves boiled in water with some salt for the flavour and a spoonful of bicarbonate of soda to make sure they remained green and did not lose their colour in the cooking process. After the cooking process the leaves were strained from the boiled water and chopped to make them easier to swallow. For mum there were two spices, salt and pepper, Vineagar was also useful, but you only applied it to the french fries or made mint sauce with it for the pork roast.

And so I did my best to swallow these healthy green leaves without gagging on them. Eventually mum got the message and greens disappeared from my diat plan to be replaced by tomato beans from the tin. Yes we were healthy eaters, but I survived.

Everything was edible, but enoying the food was an extra. I can still hear mum’s voice today when she said (she was a cockney)

“I pity your old man when you find one. He will ‘ave to survive on fish fingers and chips.”

I can assure you Mr. Swiss is thriving on the food I cook for him even if I might cook fish fingers once a month for something completely different, but there are no daily greens à la mère. He eats the fish fingers with salad in my own home made salad sauce.

Daily Prompt: Edible does not always mean that it was good

8 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Edible does not always mean that it was good

  1. I am sure you would make a much better meal out of greens – as you would not boil the greens to death in salt-water. I love something green on my plate now and then, spinach, broccoli, green pepper. But I do not cook it till it is nearly edible with a spoon.
    Your mum was one of those British housewives who gave English cooking its reputation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This was mum’s way of cooking. I often cook cabbage, or green leafed vegetable but as you say not out of the water, but sear it first of all, it has enough water without adding more. I cook most veg in the microwave as I do not need to add water and it keeps its taste better, although not all veg. I quite like spinach but it does not like me unfortunately. We also prefer our veg with a “biss”. Mr. Swiss never liked brussel sprouts until he realised you do not have to boil them to death, but leave a slight bight. My mum cooked like her mum – it seemed to run in the family, but I escaped.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am glad I didn’t start cooking like my mother – she was horrible at it. I do not cook like my grandmother, either – she was good but in the spice-department she was related to your mother: salt and pepper and a little allspice, nutmeg for mashed potatoes, laurel leaves for some sauces and cabbage as she did it (seared rather than cooked) … she never used curry, paprika was her spice of refinement …

        I have a far broader range of spices, use nutmeg for most egg-related things – apart from sweet pancakes – and for savoury bakes (noodles with some creamy sauce). I love a side dish of curcuma onion rings. I love fresh herbs when I can get them – not only chives and parsley, dill is for me not limited to the use with fish (it’s also going strong with zucchini) – and so on, and so on. I liked what my grandmother cooked, but I am more adventurous than her.

        Liked by 1 person

        • When I first arrived in Switzerland I came to Zürich. The owner of the small company I worked for was a Pakistani. He was married to a Swiss and I lived in with the family. It was here I learned the details of cooking with spice as my boss also had an Indian Restaurant in Zürich. I learned all the different spices and it helped me on my way when I got married, although Mr. Swiss is not a great love of indian food. Today I cook Swiss, but now and again might have an excursion to curry land. My mum never changed her style and i think she was still serving greens at least three times a week when I left London. Dad’s mom, my grandmother, was a good cook, but she grew up in the country and her pastries were out of this world. She was not a master chef, basic cooking, but she had her talents.

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