Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

20.2.06

Children, popcorn, Angela Lansbury and sugar.

Mr Taco writes of the funny things children say, quoting his five-year-old asking him if whales drink water. I replied, recalling my five-year-old daughter once asking me, right out of the blue, what size I took in bowling shoes. (We had never been bowling.)

The other week I took Canisha and Shanra to the movies to see Nanny McPhee. It should be compulsory viewing for all children. Let me rephrase that. It should be compulsory viewing for all parents.

We bought a ridiculously large box of overpriced popcorn at the snack bar. It was almost as big as Shanra. She carried it in and was almost invisible behind it. The girls ate the popcorn in silence and Shanra turned to me just once during the movie, informing me, "We never have popcorn at daycare, Pop!"

*

On an entirely different subject, but speaking of Nanny McPhee, the brilliant Angela Lansbury, as an eccentric aunt, at one point rudely demands her nephew omit 'unhealthy' milk from the tea he makes for her; and then, when he asks if she takes sugar, replies without batting an eyelid, "Six, please!"

I agree with the old dear. I like sugar in my tea and coffee. Lots of it. I detest those tiny paper tubes that are supplied at some cafes in place of a nice big bowl or pouring jar of sugar at the table, for customers to help themselves. The paper tubes don't contain enough sugar, they are fiddly and the resulting bits of torn paper are messy and blow about all over the table, because there are no longer any ash trays in which to deposit them.

The other day, we - a group of four - dropped in for coffee at a cafe in Rathdowne Street. It always had good food but snooty staff. It's still the same. The snooty waitress with her nose in the air emerged with our coffees with ONE paper roll of sugar each. Now let me see. My companions take, in turn, two, two and three teaspoons of sugar - good heaping teaspons. I take two and a half. Translated into paper tubes, I figure that to be roughly three, three, five and four. Total, fifteen. We have been given four between us.

I walked into the cafe (we were sitting outside) and politely requested some extra sugar. The waitress didn't ask me how many would I like, but peremptorily handed me exactly one paper roll of sugar and turned away. What do I do? Share the extra roll between four cups of coffee, eking out the grains? Ask her for another ten? Stamp my foot? Drink unsweetened coffee? Get a life? Maybe the latter. I can't believe I'm complaining about sugar in a cafe. Get a grip, Kitchen Hand.

No. I helped myself to a good handful of the accursed things. I felt like a thief as I walked out the door and back to the table.

2 comments:

The Food Whore said...

I've never been a fan of things like sugar packets. It's like someone telling me what portion I am allowed to take.


For the record, I'm a sugar and cream girl. A little heavier on the cream.

Leanne said...

Two sugars were the norm for me when I was fourteen years old. Then I decided to go healthy with liquid Sugarine (yes, I know, ugh!). After a few months, my tea didn't taste sweet anymore and I commented on this to my father. He admitted to watering down the Sugarine gradually until all I was putting in my tea was pure water. It certainly was a good way to wean me off the stuff! As far as the Rathdowne Street cafe goes, perhaps they should stack heaps of little sugar tubes in a Duralex glass on each table, like so many others do, and let the customers decide. Thanks for an always interesting blog!