THEY say you are what you eat. In my case that means I am a walking Past His Sell-By Date, but then you probably guessed that already.
If food is going off or moulding in the fridge, my wife will steer the kids away from it, but fry it up and serve it to me. She sees it as being environmentally-friendly.
We’ve got a green wheelie bin, blue wheelie bin, brown wheelie bin and me … the pink walkie bin.
Food going past its sell-by date is the joy of the modern supermarket ‘Buy one, get one free’ culture. Or, as it should be know, the ‘buy one, throw one in the bin later’ culture.
While I devour the waste, my kids eat like royalty.
We have been blessed with two boys who are not fussy. They eat anything – except mushrooms, naturally.
Mushrooms are, as all children know, the fungal spawn of the devil.
According to Delia Smith, the best way to feed children mushrooms is to use a little kidology.
She recommends that you puree the mushrooms – making sure they are well seasoned – blend them with sweet cream, and then ladle into a piping bag. You then strap the child to a dentist’s chair and pipe the mushroom directly into their gobs.
Give Delia her due, she keeps it all very simple.
Mushrooms aside, the boys (Isaac, 11, and Bradley, 14) eat anything that’s put in front of them.
And, strangely, they both have different styles of eating, though I’m not sure what it all means.
Our Bradley will eat his food with methodical precision. Give him rice, chicken and broccoli and he will eat the broccoli first, then the chicken, then the rice.
Our Isaac will dive head-first into his meal, shovelling everything in the direction of his mouth. It’s a pretty hit and miss affair.
While Bradley leaves no trace of food, Isaac’s T-shirt is a kind of public record of what he has eaten that day.
They are both, however, happy to experiment … and widen their culinary knowledge.
During the spring school holidays the grandparents too them into Newcastle to try a restaurant called Za Za Bazaar, which serves food from around the world. They filled their boots. Or in Isaac’s case, his T-shirt and the outside of his boots.
Eager to impress his mother, he returned to tell her of all the exotic delights he had tried.
“Mam, I had buffalo wings!” he told her. “And guess what? They taste just like chicken wings!”
My exasperated wife explained: “That’s because they are chicken wings. They’re not from a buffalo. Buffaloes don’t even have wings.”
While his culinary knowledge expands, it’s perhaps time to work on his biological knowledge of wildlife.