Saturday, May 09, 2020


I mentioned in my last post that although I manage to keep an even keel, I have to let it out sometimes.

So, one time once my Blue Sky counsellor asked me if there's anything I dislike about fostering.

This is how supportive they are in counselling; she didn't ask what I dislike about fostering, that's a different question from is there anything I dislike about fostering.

I guessed it would seem fake if I said 'nothing'. Of course there are things wrong with anything, nothing's perfect.

My schtick is to make light of heavy, so I answered;

"Oh yes…pasta."


"Yes, pasta. Really. Sorry, I can't stand the stuff, there you are. Problem is that pasta is a staple in fostering, it's almost universally liked by foster children because it isn't green, has no mystery components such as seeds or skin and can be scoffed one-handed.

They love it. Look - I'm not a philistine; spaghetti with meatballs is almost okay. Penne doused in Dolmio is borderline. But.. help…mascarpone and bow-tie shapes, raviolis, cannelloni, tortollini, fettucine, linguini, vermicelli…aaagh! 


It's just boiled dough!!!

Ever heard that line that a squirrel is nothing but a rat with great PR? Pasta is nothing but  boiled dough with great PR."

She said; You can't hate pasta, surely?

"Look, it's boiled dough! They take a decent bread dough which they could have baked and have something proper to chew on and eat, but no. They cut the dough into fancy shapes then dry it hard as bullets. Then you have to buy it. Then boil it.

Boil it. Boiling dough gives it the feel of shark liver without the flavour. It slivers around at the bottom of the pan like a rubber alien from the old Star Trek. Cooked pasta has the death glaze of a Vampire's victim about it; is there any other food which is such a bloodless grey?

Unappetising at best, revolting by itself; the Italian who invented it couldn't serve it up to his worst enemy like that. But he had a card up his sleeve; he gave it a rinky-dink name. Something Mediterranean romantic/heroic like "Merilionne Pucinniatta" or "Gucciiatta a cannelliara"

Job not done. Now the heap needs a sauce to hide its absence of texture or flavour. Heaven forfend anything with bite or crunch, the sauce has to slither even more than the pasta slivers, and the sauce, like the pasta, needs a name that has more vowels than consonants; Amatriciana, Puttanesca, Alla Norma...

Top it off with a handful of ludicrously expensive parmesan cheese (the packet stuff truly tastes of baby ick).

And a couple of knobs of stodgy factory robot-made garlic bread.

C'mon…pasta? Really?

Me, I'm a straightforward pie and mash person. Fish and chips, yes please. Sausages, every time, yes. Sunday roast and the works? Oh yes, God is in his very Heaven. I like to EAT. I'm only a 27 on the BMI; I could drop 10lbs and I will start on Monday as I have every Monday since about 1995, but eating what I like is one of my top ten things.

Only in fostering you eat what they want. Which is...


Oh, I don't mind much. In fact not at all really. Foster children's previous eating is usually shocking to learn. 

I can have beans on toast for lunch when no-one's around.

Foster children need their pasta.

The one thing I find delicious about pasta three, four or even five nights a week?

A bunch of foster children looking and feeling happy.


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