Some more, please: The curse of the pink Vienna

2011-03-10 10:29

With increasing dread I watched as the childrens’ dinner was brought out, as the plates were lowered onto the table I realised I was holding my breath…
Grated cheese, cucumber, cherry tomatoes (I almost breathed a sign of relief) but then … the horror, the horror, a pink Vienna.

I am suspicious of meat that is glow-in-the-dark pink and that has been processed so much that it hardly has any of the pig/cow/chicken that was sacrificed for it in it.

But, as I am currently in self-therapy for my humourless attitude to rubbish food, I decided to let the toddler eat the dreaded thing.

She ate it all – chockfull of sodium and a litany of E numbers.

Then, I gasped, in a scene from a horror film, she ate a second one. I did not rip it out of her hand and beseech our hostess for mercy. No, I held myself back, smiled, drank my wine and mentally patted myself on the back for pretending to be laid-back.

By the time we got home I’d almost forgotten the whole thing, but – to stick to the horror movie metaphor – there was life in the junk food monster yet and a midnight twist in the tale was to unfold, unbeknownst to me.

As the cold air of the witching hour crept around the house, I heard the cry of “mummy”.

She was awake. Not for a quick drink to wash down the rest of the dreaded sodium, but for a seemingly endless two-hour play session of book reading and space-station building.

The next morning, as I dragged my groggy head out of bed delighted to have survived at all, I realised that I had been zapped by the curse of the processed meat.

A curse that stalks healthy eating habits everywhere and for which the only antidote is the ritual of good home cooking.

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