I’m flicking (reading for those who are short on time) through the Saturday Times and I stumble across Family Favourites in the Weekend section. Simple recipes for tasty weekend lunches: Spiced aubergine and pumpkin-seed muffins and roasted vegetable galette, to name but two. What the f**k is a galette? Am I not middle class enough? Does this woman know what my weekends consist of? Kids, dogs, walk, work, wine, collapse.
Then, I realise that ‘this woman’ is Annabel Karmel…that’s THE Annabel Karmel, who I was a slave to when my kids were babies. THE Annabel Karmel, who made me cook peanut butter cookies and avocado mush. This is the woman who I was in awe of throughout the terrible two’s. A woman who had the ability to make me feel empowered and emancipated in the same breath, as I gazed at the photos of her and her children in neat little pinnys in a spotless kitchen. I bought her books, I read her books, I have given her books to Oxfam. Now, she pops up in my free middle class paper from Waitrose. I guess this means that I haven’t actually moved on in 15 years. Except that I have. I feel totally alienated by the words: ‘galette’ and ‘wrap each gougon in a piece of Parma ham’. You are having a giraffe, Annabel. My kids had Waitrose Economy Gougons tonight and I considered that ‘posh’. They were excited by the fact that I combined these with fresh green beans.
‘As our lives get busier, many of us stick with what we know and trust when it comes to cooking’ – yes, Annabel my Hun: economy mash and Richmond sausages and my kids think it’s Christmas.
I could feel like a failure. Here was a woman who was a part of my baby past. Without her, I wonder whether my kids would have ever been weaned. Yet now, I feel alienated by words like: ‘mini tartlets’ and ‘chicken rösti’. I am a Spag Bol and filled pasta woman, Annabel and I feel that we have moved on at different tangents, reconvening via a freeebie.
It was Pizza last night, Annabel, but you know what: I don’t care. I am the brazen hussey of the parent world and you are the foodie queen…actually no, I do care. Rösti respect Annabel…I’ll go and google it.