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The life-sustaining properties of nursery food

PUBLISHED: 09:44 11 September 2017

A straw for dinner? Yes, please! Picture: BEV BADDELEY

A straw for dinner? Yes, please! Picture: BEV BADDELEY

Archant

After dental work, Lynne can’t eat solids or talk... her husband is sympathetic

Getting sausages up through a straw ain't easy... Picture: BBGetting sausages up through a straw ain't easy... Picture: BB

I have spent four days eating nursery food and now I’m wondering why I ever bothered with chewing at all.

After quite a big dental operation, last week, I was left with sore gums and stitches, an instruction to eat only on the left side of my mouth and a goody bag − but sadly no balloon or birthday cake. I got antiseptic mouthwash, a super-soft toothbrush, ibuprofen and antibiotics. Cake would have been nice.

It was clear I wouldn’t be munching a salad for a bit. What to eat, then?

I’m not sold on the idea of whooshing a roast dinner in a blender. I like to see what I’m eating, not hazard a guess.

And, after a few days, I am now completely devoted to slushy stuff.

Scrambled egg is yellow and delightfully, well, eggy. I followed this with mashed banana with a spoonful (large) of double cream. Breakfast was porridge or soothing milk-saturated Weetabix. It was like being weaned all over again. My husband did not share my enthusiasm and made a point of eating loud apples.

Soup with soft, suckable bread rolls, followed by rice pudding. What a treat. I was just about ready for a bib and a high chair. My husband went shopping for his afflicted wife and proudly showed off a batch of yoghurts and seduced me with talk of cauliflower cheese. You will by now have deduced I do not suffer from dairy intolerance.

But what of those desserts of old? The ones we had for school dinners? I suppose, having been redesignated as middle class, I should refer to this midday meal as lunch but I don’t recall anyone bringing lunch money. It was dinner money in the ’60s.

What happened to pink semolina served with jam and an impenetrable grainy skin on top? It would arrive in an oven-to-table rectangular metal tin and be separated into six portions. Remarkably, I seem to recall this milk pudding holding its shape even when divided.

Unlike semolina, bread and butter pudding has retained its appeal, although it now has posh versions made with brioche or croissants. The original is best. White sliced bread, buttered or marged, with an egg custard mixture and a sprinkling of sultanas.

In this five-a-day age, we are not encouraged to give children traditional nursery food, although, having presented both my grandsons with broccoli from an early age, I would just like to mention it’s hard to get the part-squashed, part-chewed green vegetable out of the shag-pile.

n My absent-mindedness has stretched into a second week... or is it the third?

After washing my hair in the shower, I apply leave-in conditioner, which resides on my bedside table, next to the E45 moisturiser which I use to combat my leg dandruff. Inevitably, I squeezed a large blob of E45 into my hand and ran it through my hair. It was only when my hair formed clumps that I realised my error.

A couple of days later I went to the supermarket to pick up a duvet I’d had professionally cleaned. To be honest, I’d left it there for over a month because I just kept forgetting to reclaim it. I handed over my ticket at customer services and was told it would take a few minutes to collect from the back of the store and if I had any shopping to do...

I did have a couple of things I needed, so I set off with my trolley and found at least two dozen things I badly needed. I paid for them at the checkout and went home. It was three hours later I realised I hadn’t picked up the duvet.

My friend Dorinda emailed: “As one whose husband recently asked, when filling in a form online: ‘What street do we live in?’ I have much sympathy with your memory problems. Unfortunately you will find it gets worse as we get older. I frequently find myself going upstairs for something and having to come down again to the place where I started as this helps me to remember what I was going up there for.”

You can understand why some people opt for bungalows...

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