and the Little Drummer Boy's Brother, both from "next door" have been taken off to Hungary for eight weeks. Their mother is Hungarian and they disappear for an extended period every so often. It's been about eighteen months since the last time they went.
Their mother appeared at our door yesterday and asked if I would like the remaining contents of their freezer before she turned it off for the time they are away. She was obviously desperate to hand it on to someone so I agreed.
A little later she brought in a bag of things and rushed off again. Then she rushed back with "some things from the 'fridge" and said,
"Use if you want."
I looked. It is interesting to discover what other people eat. I have always suspected our neighbours eat quite differently from us - and they do.
We don't eat things like fish with the "batter" already around it. We don't actually eat fish in batter. The Senior Cat prefers his fish steamed or grilled. We don't eat other "packaged" meals either. I make ours from scratch. It really doesn't take that long if you plan ahead and, at least sometimes, cook enough for two meals.
I have seen our neighbours in the supermarket. They don't eat nearly as much in the way of fruit and vegetables as we do - and they are not the only young families I know like that. I talked to our greengrocer about this once and he agreed that, at least in the shop, he tends to see older people during the week. Younger people rush in over the weekend or on Thursday nights when there is "late-night" shopping in the suburbs. According to our greengrocer they buy differently too - they buy the things which are faster to prepare and cook.
They prowl along the frozen food and refrigerator sections of the supermarket and take out the meal packets. I am not above using the frozen food section but I don't buy the meals. I buy the things to make meals. I don't buy packets of square, white, sliced, "bread". "They won't eat wholemeal bread" and "they only like bananas" and "they only eat X (sugar coated) cereal".
I suppose I am lucky. I make the time to make meals. The Senior Cat likes good food (forget the Napoleon cake blip from the other day) and I can budget to buy good food. It must be different for many "working mums" - although our neighbour is a stay at home mother.
I rescued an unopened packet of pastry squares (one of the few things I don't bother to make). They are still well within date and still frozen. I'll make them some pasties for the day they get back. The Little Drummer Boy and his brother will eat those - even if they do drown them in tomato sauce.