I do not just post this to demonstrate my middle class, Guardian-reading predilection for fair trade and organic Cooperative supermarket produce. I didn’t do it either to mention how I listened to Radio 4 whilst preparing this.
Instead I do so in response to Luke’s comment that whilst the content of these pages occasionally sways towards the (pseudo?) intellectual, ‘I could also imagine you writing about just having a really nice hot chocolate’.
Indeed I could, Luke, and indeed I will.
And so after concocting a witches brew of dark chocolate and cinnamon, I had my own Proustian moment being transported back to Antwerp, there to celebrate the millenium with sister, mother and step father. I wore a rather dapper black, fur hat (ahead of the recent ushanka Shoreditch trend) and a long black coat. Step dad insisted on the purchase of a hat and then never tired of telling me how I resembled a Jewish orphan.
In the middle of an exceptionally cold day we fell into a tiny vegetarian restaurant, decorated in primary colour pop art. I asked for hot chocolate (one of the corner stones of my diet at that age – occasionally changing to chocolate milk when in the Spanish sun) and was presented with a deep bucket of cocoa soup. Proper hot chocolate like I had never had before where the chocolate was therapeutically melted into the hot milk in place of dehydrated, crumbling cocoa powder. And into the dark gloup was added a whole blend of cinnamon and spices.
Then falafel and humus and chilli sauce.
It was trips under the influence of my step dad that really created my pretentious love of food. The part of me that forgets the overdraft and insists on ‘just popping in’ to Patisserie Valerie for an afternoon sweet thing and loose leaf tea instead of being content with a bag of crisps and a coke from Sainsbury’s. Afternoons at Bristol would be immeasurably better if macaroons and tea was served at 4pm every day. I feel the £4,700 price tag could easily stretch to such an inclusion, especially considering that my bank balance can no longer.