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This week: Getting saucy - or not?
I reserve the right to call you a lunatic for putting mint sauce on anything other than lamb - but at the same time, I also reserve the right for you to do so. It's not right but it's okay. Having said that it's not right, who decided that?
I am aware that mint sauce is selected as the best to complement lamb as the meat can be a little greasy but if you chose another condiment - and to you it makes your chosen grub taste even better - then go for it! Smother your plate in whatever you like.
I like a bit of tartar on my scampi but I also like it on chips.There are those who will do their very best to convince me it's wrong. Just how meddling do you have to be to believe you should get involved in something so very personal?
It's not good breeding that bars you from putting brown sauce on your Sunday roast - it's just that you've never tried it.
And when you do, you'll never look back. Well it works for me and that's what's important.
To this day, I am amazed that people are able to eat olives, but the very fact that they do is all the proof I need that we all taste things differently.
My wife will spend a good part of the day preparing a meal for the family and is disappointed when the kids cover it in ketchup. But if that's how they like it, then why not? To deny them that pleasure would be plain wrong.
I will have maximum respect for the person who asks for the ketchup in a posh eaterie for having just the way that they like it.
What could possibly be wrong with that?
The simple pleasures of preparing a meal and then enjoying it around a table with family and friends are unbeatable. So there is no way I will allow certain meals that I have made to be coated in a thick layer of ketchup. So much so, that I refuse to get the squeezy bottle out of the fridge to put on the table.
When it comes to food I firmly believe that you start as you mean to go on. In other words, when you place a meal in front of your children at an early age you expect (well, I expect at least) them to try it and the more flavours they experience, the more they will enjoy their food. That's how it works in my home. The same applies to sauces. If every time you serve a meal you place the ketchup and brown sauce on the table 'because the kids like it' and it makes everything taste sweet, they will become conditioned to squirting it all over their plates regardless. So I don't.
Of course this will depend on the actual meal. In my book, sauce is acceptable with some things - sausages, fish, chips - but it's not allowed with shepherd's pie or roast chicken, or indeed any dish that already has some kind of sauce or gravy with it.
I have witnessed people having ketchup on their roast and I think it looks, well, common. They only do it because their parents have allowed them to do it at home.
What you don't have you don't miss and I am definitely not prepared to spend hours making beautifully-flavoured meals for someone to pour ketchup all over it. So if you are ever at my house for dinner, don't dare ask me for the ketchup - unless it's for your chips. Anything else is quite frankly just poor taste!