Monday, 6 April 2015

E: Food for thought

This reason to be cheerful is a necessity and I am conscious that I could end up looking like a glutton by mentioning it. Anyway, E is for eating.

It's a tricky subject. These days eating can almost be a political act; what you eat, how much you eat, even why you eat. In a world where there are too many people who do not have enough, or sometimes anything, to eat for me to mention eating as a reason to be cheerful might seem thoughtless, but I hope not.

Although I am not one for saying grace before meals I am very fond of what is known as the Selkirk Grace. It is often attributed to Scotland's national poet Robert Burns, but there is a suggestion that it pre-dates him. No matter, it is the sentiment it contains that I like.

This is how the version with which I am familiar goes:

Some hae meat and canna eat, 
   And some wad eat that want it; 
But we hae meat, and we can eat, 
  And sae the Lord be thankit

To me it neatly sums up the feeling of thankfulness we should all have when we eat. In my book there's never anything wrong with counting your blessings and having food is one of mine.

A British soldier eats his midday meal in a trench
in the snow, while manning part of the front line
along the River Maas in Holland, 8 January 1945.
I chose this picture because to me it underlines what I was saying about counting your blessings. I imagine this soldier would have been glad to have had something to eat and, from the look of him, not have to worry at the same time about enemy action. I'm not sure what he's eating, but it looks to me as if he enjoyed it.

There's a fairly historical feel to this posting so the music carries on in the same vein with music hall artiste Harry Champion singing Boiled Beef and Carrots. I've never eaten boiled beef and carrots, but according to the song it's very good for you. Who knew?

  • Question: Have you ever eaten boiled beef? What was it like? I'll be honest it doesn't sound very nice to me. 

* Soldier picture by No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit, Norris (Sgt) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


  1. Glad you liked it. I always seem to have know that song. I suspect it was something my parents or grandparents might have sung when I was a kid.

  2. Love that Boiled Beef and Carrots clip. It brought back many happy memories as my dad (1905-1984) used to sing it.

  3. Hi Mark - I'm sure in the old days we had boiled beef and carrots occasionally - and with dumplings on top - it'd be very good, or mash potatoes to mix into it. A good beef broth, with boiled carrots in .. Though frankly I'd rather have some other fare now-a-days .. ie some Greek food .. cheers Hilary

  4. My grandmother used to make something called boiled dinner that was so good. Boiled beef, potatoes, onions and turnips. Most of my feelings about eating are ambivalent, since I love to eat but gain weight too easily.


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