So let’s go back a few years…..A� okay 25+A� years!
I was living in England and my best friend lived a few doors up the road.A� Her mother is German and was an amazing baker; gingerbread, almond cookies, fruit cakes, the works.A� Not only would my friend greet me at the door but so would these incredible aromas that wafted down the hallway from the kitchen.
When we reached secondary school, my friends mother became interested (perhaps obsessed is a better word) with healthy eating.A� Overnight, her aromatic, tasty baked wonders turned into sugarless, dry and tasteless shadows of their former selves.
Looking back I am reminded of a science experiment called “Pavlov’s Dog”.A� I would visit my friend and be greeted by the same warm, delicious promise of baking that would make my mouth water and stomach grumble.A� My highly trained auto-responses would be rewarded with a “healthy” cookie that tasted of spiced dirt.A� Perhaps now is a good time to apologise to my brother for making him eat mud pies as a baby?!
My parents have always drilled into me, “be polite”, “don’t be rude”, “say thank you” etc etc. Human instinct (especially that of a 13 year old with a sweet tooth) is to grab that cookie and consume with gusto but biting the head off a sugarless gingerbread man is the same as taking a swig of coffee when you think it’s tea or vice versa.A� Every nerve in your body tells you to spit it out, bleugh!
Such a conundrum!A� AND I never learned.A� Just like Pavlov’s dog I would smell the baking, take the offered cookie and then smile my way through 3 minutes of torture while I tried to eat the damn thing.
My friend’s mother was a pioneer!A� Before Jamie Oliver waged war on school dinners or Irritable Bowel Syndrome became a dinner table conversation topic, she was blazing a trail for others to follow.A� Perhaps not in the way she had hoped but a benchmark is a benchmark.A� Even if it falls into the “I never want my food to taste like that!” category.