Were he alive, my father would be 99 today. Despite being a busy man, he was a very present father. For no particular reason, I am going to mention some of his culinary likes and dislikes. Sometimes he cooked for us. His signature dish was spag bol. On the weekends he liked to buy Hungarian salami. If he had come into possession, by gift or purchase, of something he particularly liked, he would keep it in an old rising cupboard used for drinks. I remember in particular sachets of powdered ice tea brought back from America. This is MINE, he would say, making very clear that it should not be touched. He liked goose at Christmas. He liked his brown bread very thinly cut. To achieve a satisfactorily buttered slice he would spread the butter on the face of the loaf before cutting it. When eating toast he would put a wedge of butter and a dollop of marmalade on his plate, and butter and spread with marmalade each individual bite. He didn't much like posh restaurants. In a michelin-starred restaurant in France, he lost his temper when an over-attentive waiter kept picking up his napkin for him. He liked Chinese as a family treat.
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