Thursday, May 18, 2006


In Britain, it is National Sandwich Week.

It is also Breastfeeding Awareness Week. Indeed, there is a stand in the mall in Bexleyheath presumably set up to encourage women to lactate. What a horrible thought. I'm certainly not joining in.

I'm sure there must be a joke to connect these two campaigns, possibly involving not being able to put your head between two pieces of bread, but of course this is a nice family blog written by a very nice lady, so I won't say any more than that.

* * * * * * *

Oh, alright, I'm not a very nice lady at all, as has been noted by one of my more astute readers, so I will have another rant: a cheap shot at someone in the public eye. It's very small of me, and proves what a sad lonely existence I etc., etc., etc.

It seems that Jamie Oliver's "middle class meals for skoolkidz" campaign has hit a few problems. Apparently, dinner ladies are reluctant to work the extra hours needed to prepare the poncey but healthy meals. They're not being offered any extra money for this. How mean spirited of them! Don't they realise that they should only work for the love of the job?

Well, bollocks, Jamie. You look like a pink faced two year old having a tantrum at the best of times. I have always been suspicious of you ever since I saw you interviewed in a primary school dining room suggesting that it was "disgraceful" to feed such awful food to children. "Look at them, look at these angels", you said. Or words to that effect. "????!!!" Do you REMEMBER being at primary school? Show me the average nine year old and I will show you someone who is nearer to Satan than Heaven ...

Anyway, as is often the way, working class women (dinner ladies) have to do all the donkey work to appease the middle classes, some of whom believe that by feeding their kids fresh, wholesome, organic school meals said children will immediately have brainpower increased to an enormous degree.

Perhaps they could let a child sit down and read a book of their own free will, or go out to play, BY THEMSELVES, rather than hothousing them, insisting on them going to cello lessons or hockey practice or some other displacement activity nonsense. Yes, allowing a child to USE THEIR OWN INITIATIVE or USE THEIR IMAGINATION might be more useful than stuffing them full of organic rice and broccoli. A long shot, I know.

Anyway, I'm obviously spouting rubbish here because the children are our future, we all have to get them into "decent" schools and it's only a matter of time before Sir Lord Jamie becomes Prime Minister. Won't that be nice?

Quite right too! - I got where I am today on Smash dried potato, arctic roll and butterscotch instant whip...... ermh... actually, I'm not sure I'm helping your argument here.....

Anyway, once I went to a dinner party where we had 'ironic' servings of Fray Bentos tinned pies and Angel Delight - who says the middle classes take 'emselves seriously eh?
Oh dear, I feel torn. For all his faults, I actually like Jamie Oliver. It's nice to see someone (apparently) genuinely passionate about school food. I share his belief that a school dinner is probably the only decent meal a child will get during the day because there's a whole generation of parents out there who haven't got a clue. My primary school food was excellent. I sure wish JO had been around from 72 -75 though when I gave up school dinners in favour of cheese and pickle sandwiches.

My mum was a school cook. Gypsy tart makes you fart.
The main point here is the extra work for the dinner ladies. What JO can't grasp is that good food needn't take hours of farting about in the kitchen. But if there was no farting about in the kitchen he wouldn't have a show.
With beans on toast he could have it all!
I'd pay extra if I thought the kids would get better meals and the dinner ladies would be paid what they deserve. The trouble with the people round here they are too busy spending money on acrylic nails, Chelsea Tractors and fucking Dido albums to realise that a right good run through the woods, few carrots and an actual conversation with their kids would do wonders, they are a proper bunch of posh twats.
Doppelganger - argg! How dare you ridicule the working classes, the backbone of this country, the blood royal of Britain!

... sorry. Went into Julie Burchill mode there.

Richard - sounds as if you were lucky with school meals because mine were pretty much inedible because the schools used to get the cheapest ingredients. No wonder there was the change to chips and pizzas in the late 1970's.

I think there is some sort of north/south dividing line: Manchester tart or gipsy tart?

Kaz - well, yeah, but it seems to be a part of cooking snobbery that suggests you have to spend ages preparing food. Does boiling potatoes take longer than preparing chips, for instance?

Ranter - sound like a frightful lot. The mums fill our close with their 4WD's even here in South London. Don't know about the acrylic nails but some of these women are scary and could hold their own in the boxing ring.
As if I would mock.....

I love Fray Bentos pies me - and I'm a vegetarian.....

Anyway, we've only been middle class for a bit - I haven't been camping in france yet, or worked out how to use the coffee machine....
Yes, it is National Sandwich Week. And absolutely pointless it is too. I speak with authority on that subject, if nothing else. And now you know where to go for butter.

Hurrah, I'm not the only hater of the Fat-Tongued Fantasist. I started to dislike him when he was plugging Sainsbury's on his BBC show. And our relationship has gone downhill. Has he really achieved anything? No, people still by lots of really bad food in supermarkets and give it to the kids because "that's all they'll eat" and they're too weak to make 'em eat proper vegetables and the like. I expect he'll get lots of gongs, but as you say, the sums won't add up. It needs a massive philosophical change to achieve what he advocates, and if he thinks he's done it with a couple of tv programmes and a cosy chat with Toothy Tony then he's, well, a tad naiv.
Well Bettster, yet again you have provoked me into action.
One of the few areas where I actually believe action could make a difference to the conciousness of our planet. Oh shit, I've got to try not to be so serious all the time. It's just that I love good organic food - it's just so obviously 'correct'. But please everyone, feel free to eat as much shite, sorry, I mean as much processed food (and I hesitate to use the word 'food' there) as you like. But let's not feed it to our kids eh!
My mum was a dinner lady AND served up Fray Bentos pies for tea too.
So I had school dinners at school and at home. Sigh.

I have nightmares about the soggy bottoms....

And the pies.
Doppelganger - I always keep in touch with my roots by only eating jam sandwiches, or Goblin meat pudding with processed peas washed down with a can of Mackeson's stout. And I only ever holiday in Prestatyn.

Krusty - I suppose I could put up with the mockney accent if he hadn't become ubiqitous and felt the need to spout his opinions so freely.

Can't see that there will be a practical solution to the cheap but healthy meals for schoolkids problem either.

Tom - just testing your middle class reflexes there. They seem to be working perfectly well :-)

Betty Cress - I'm never sure what those bits that tasted like melted elastic bands were in Fray Bentos pies. The steak and kidney pudding isn't bad actually, as far as those things go.
Hi Betty, I've got nothing to add. I quite like the ranter's point:
a good run through the woods, few carrots and an actual conversation with their kids would do wonders

call me old fashioned I guess. or maybe just old.
Bollocks to 'em. They should be made to eat chocolate flummery with vanilla sauce like we had to - camel cum and doggy dung.
Phew. I'm overwhelmed by your passion. Let me just put your mind at rest on one point though:

Jamie Oliver will NEVER be Prime Minister.

(I have a gun)
They've just said on the wireless that junk foods such as crisps are to be banned in schools from September. Really seriously - anything that makes their lazy lardarse parents have to think is welcome. I wonder if the tuck shop at my secondary school is still there?

Betty, it can't be Manchester tart as that's got jam and custard powder in. Gypsy Tart is Muscovado sugar and evaporated milk. Look...

jaime oliver is a dipshit.
his show died over here because he had such a condescending air about him.

his line of dinnerware is ugly, too.
Sorry, I just have to record the first incident of me agreeing with Richard. Richard, are you middle class by any chance?
And everybody else, you're really upsetting me. I really like Jamie -
I think he is one of life's good guys.
Kyahgirl - I wouldn't like to pass judgement on modern parents, mainly because I've escaped being one myself, but it sounds about right.

Geoff - sounds quite sophisticated fayre. Unless it really was doggy dung and camel cum.

Mark - Perhaps shooting Jamie would be going a bit far. A suitable form of punishment should be found ... a year working as a dinner lady on a dinner lady's wages, maybe?

First Nations - oh, so he isn't going to take over the world then? What a tragedy (for Jamie).

Tom - sorry you're upset. Here, sit down, I'll get you something to eat ... what do fancy, Pot Noodle? A Vesta Curry? Oven chips?
Richard - it seems that food with too much salt and fat in it is to be "banned" from schools in some way later this year. So that'll be good for the profits of the newsagents and chip shops near to schools then (as was always the case at secondary school from what I remember. I'm sure children are as conniving as ever).

Cynical? Me?
Cynical? Yes. Right? Yesser. Brits, en masse, want to eat cheap shit. Jamie, Delia, the food scare that occurs every 3-4 years in this country - salmonella, BSE, fmd, sudan1, birdflu - it don't make no difference. Have a look at the trolleys around you at the checkout. They're full of rubbish. Why? Because it's quick and cheap. We spend less of our money on food than other Europeans, and we think home-cooked food is a pain in the arse, which is why we spend ever less time in the kitchen, and 'graze' rather than 'dine'.

Sorry guys, I know this is bleak and hopeless, but it's my job to know this stuff, why do you think I have such a depressing view of my fellow man? Jamie might be well motivated - though he does sell his services to a supermarket, the whorepocrit - but he ain't changing much in reality. If you really want to get a downer, buy a copy of The Grocer.
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