Class wars

A friend and I have been having an ongoing tease about class. I maybe think she’s a bit posh and she refutes this and doubts my working class roots. It’s a complex one when you get down to it – how do you make the distinction? My Dad would be horrified at any impugning of his WC credentials, staunch trade unionist that he is. He works physically hard with his hands everyday, and those poor hands are cracked,calloused and work sore but his idea of enjoyment is reading obscure Italian art histories . His break out weekends are spent in galleries and he’s an inspiring experimental cook and gourmet. Culturally he’s easily MC but are you allowed to judge it culturally?

Officially it’s on your parents shoulders – do they have a degree, are they paid a wage or a salary? Or is it the size of your TV screen, your class dropping proportionally in relation to the size of the screen. Or is it if you know what Bright House is or what you choose to read, whether you do read? Or, as I tease N, whether your childhood holidays were spent in day trips to Weston-super-mare or in France, as your family do up a battered jete?

But mostly, does it matter? I think you’re in f’ing cloud cuckoo land if you believe in Blairs’ *spit* classless society. The broad fact of the existence of the over advantaged against the woefully under privileged is clearly evident but does it divide into working etc anymore? or has it evolved into educated/ un-educated, breast feeders/bottle feeders, Nigella watchers/Iceland customers . Is the fact the boundaries are so tangled and blurred mean they’re on the way out?

As usual I’m all questions and no answers. I was thinking earlier about the gentrification of crafting activities. Look at Kirstie Allsopp swanning about rug ragging etc and the rise of “up-cycling” and allotments amongst people who choose to feed themselves from them and make do rather than need to.

I’ve made a kind of dragon pie today – which is like a vege cottage pie – my bottom is various veg, a tin of tomatoes, aduki beans, pearl barley, red lentils with cumin,coriander, fennel seeds, garam masala and lots of garlic and my top is mashed swede,potatoes and carrot – with cheese grated on top. We’re not vege, I used to be but since being with Steve we’ve settled on happier, better kept meat less often. I genuinely love cooking which is lucky because I’m very greedy (and as previously mentioned, far from little). I think chopping veg is very soothing. I  read lots of cook books, salivating but am free and easy with recipes. A recipe’s just a starting point, don’t you think?

The best bit about being at home is having more cooking time. I always cooked real food even when working but we had a lot of stew type meals (made the night before and heated up) or pasta and veg sauce. It’s great to have more time to make bread and experiment. Also cooking thriftily is really satisfying, using everything up. Cooking to a specific recipe is quite different from surveying what you have in the cupboard and garden etc and concocting something. Both are enjoyable though!

Got to go now and supervise, please let it be the last of them, thank you cards writing… will it ever end?


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