The Sad Demise of Party Food

July 17, 2010 at 4:57 pm Leave a comment

Kerry Katona has got a lot to answer for. No, not for the drugs and alcohol. No, not for the awful singing and the I’m a Celebrity stuff. Kerry has got a lot to answer for regarding the sad demise of party food through her promotion of Iceland.

Chicken skewers, mini Cornish pasties, duck spring rolls, tempura prawns, and f*cking goujons for heaven sakes. No wonder she has a weight problem.

 When I was growing up in the 70s and 80s, my mom and dad knew how to put on a spread……….

 Sandwiches. Three kinds – cheese (cheddar, possibly with a slice of tomato or a spread of Branston pickle), ham (again, possibly with tomato or a smear of English mustard), and, if it was a special occasion, salmon. Tinned salmon. Pink salmon. Mushed up with all of the crunchy bones and spread on a piece of sliced white. The height of sophistication.

You always knew that it was a special occasion in our house when the contents of packets and jars got transferred to a bowl.  There would be a big bowl of crisps. You can stuff your tortillas and kettle crisps. We had proper crisps. Walkers cheese and onion or plain. None of these crunchy foreign triangles to dip in your humus or sweet chilli. The closest we ever got to a dip was a bowl of homemade coleslaw.

There would be a bowl of peanuts – salted. These were the days before the evolution of the nut. In our day it was salted or nothing. None of your dry roasted rubbish (why do they coat them in the droppings from the bottom of a budgies cage?), or  honey roasted for us. We were a KP kind of family.   We thought a cashew was an instrument that you blew into that made a sound like a comb and paper. And, we only ever saw a Brasil nut at Christmas and, then it was generally covered in chocolate.

Cheese straws (homemade) and cocktail sausages were always popular. The same could not always be said for Twiglets. I never liked them. But, there again, I never liked Marmite. Food of the devil. Pork scratchings. Pickled onions – proper, big, fat juicy ones. Not those little silver cocktail things. Pickled cucumber. I was once very, very sick through eating too much pickled cucumber. Sausage rolls (homemade), scotch eggs (homemade), and, of course, the ubiquitous cheese and tinned pineapples on a cocktail stick. Sometimes there would be an additional slab of  Cheddar or Cheshire on a bread board. And, a chicken drumstick as God had intended them to be eaten – bereft of marinade or Chinese flavourings.

If we were having posh visitors or someone had died, we may even have had a quiche or the odd vol au vent thrown in. However, ours always looked as if the cat had thrown something up into the puff pastry casing. It took me a while to discover the joys of French food!

So, Ms Katona, you can stick your breaded cheese bites! Bring back proper food.


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