I'm sat in Mr Cooper's House and Garden with my elderly parents and I realise that we've completely swapped roles. Despite my antipathy towards picky eaters I was myself a bit of a fussy eater as a child as many kids are. I was a good eater as I still am but there were a few things that I wouldn't touch. Having said that, it was the 1970's and 80's, there wasn't anywhere near the choice that there is now. I also think that it's understandable at a young age when perhaps our palates are not so refined. But if you're a grown up and you don't like something wondrous like cheese for example, I think that's just ridiculous.
As they don't know what to order at Mr Cooper's, the conversation goes something like this.
Me; "How about lamb, that's always good here."
Mum; "Oo lamb can be a bit fatty, I don't like that".
I decided against telling her that a bit of fat means more flavour.
Me; "How about this dish?"
Mum; Oo no, that's got eel in it."
Me; "Have you ever eaten eel?"
Mum; "No.." She pulls her face doubtfully.
And so it goes on.... Maybe as you grow much older you revert to safer options. 'Stick to what you know!' My Dad would warn us on occasional meals out on childhood holidays.
In the end, despite my best efforts, they both go for the dreaded turkey which is exactly how I expect it to be (head chef Gareth Jones isn't a miracle worker with this naturally dull bird). They enjoy their meal though, as I do. (Some of the very best service in Manchester as ever from Fernando and Maria).
As usual, my always generous folks take care of the bill. Next time, I'll try and persuade them to get the lamb or the beautiful sea bass that I had.
I might even offer to pay.