Friday, August 11, 2006


I was brought up to eat whatever was on my plate.

I reckon my folks did a pretty good job of gauging what I could consume though; Mum was the one who ladled out the portions and it was mandatory that the plate be completely empty before we were allowed to leave the table. Not a difficult goal to achieve since the portions always seemed smaller than I wanted. The perils of bringing up a family on a very restricted budget.

These days of course I load my own plate and I do a pretty good job of judging ahead of time how much I'm going to want. Maybe once a month I misjudge and find myself full with two mouthfuls of mashed spud left.

Andrew has the luxury of loading his own plate but he *never* gets it right. Little bastard loads up with vegetables he knows he's not going to eat. No amount of browbeating changes him either. Pointing out that he can always go back for seconds if he's still hungry goes in one ear and out the other. Mom doesn't help of course; she cooks way more than any of us could eat whilst maintaining our svelte forms. Thus I'm constantly appalled at the wastage.

Uh huh; I've run into a cultural difference that I doubt I'll ever overcome. Andrew 'knows' that food can be wasted whereas I don't 'know' any such thing.

Here the restaurant portions are almost always at least twice as large as I can comfortably consume and it took quite some time to overcome that feeling of guilt when I'd reached capacity and quite half the food was still left! I never got into the habit of asking for a 'doggie bag' though the rest of the family have no problem whatsoever with the idea of taking half a steak, four ribs, a pile of mashed spuds and some cauliflower home.

And when they get it home what do they do with it? Stick it in the fridge of course! And then, a month later, it gets thrown out because no one ate it! Indeed, I reckon I could count on the thumbs of one foot the number of leftover portions that actually fulfill their destiny in this house! Doesn't stop em bringing them home though! Maybe they feel less guilty by playing the polite fiction. *shrug*

I suppose it could be worse. A friend, years ago, was prowling through his fridge and found some pineapple chunks in a container. When he opened it he was puzzled at the 'mayonnaise' on the pineapple but, with a shrug, he consumed the lot. When his wife got home he commented on the 'mayonnaise' only to be told that it was mold!

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