It's true, it happened to a friend of a friend of mine...

Big Al and the Grey Death

, posted: 18-Jan-2008 11:43

Now, you remember last time I wrote to you all, my dear readers!  I mentioned Big Al, aka the wicked Stepmother.  Or in my case, the wicked step-grandmother, whom I knew as 'Mum'...

She was  a strange woman, who put more into appearances (and lying) than into enjoying life.  We have our own theories about this, but I am going to talk today about her lack of enjoyment of food.

Now, just take a minute to look at me.  (Good thing you can't.)  I love food! 

Big Al didn't.  Now, my grandfather was a guy who loved food also, so, being a nice guy he bought the latest in gadgets for her.

Who knows what he would have bought today, he was definitely a gadget man, but back then, the only thing available was the Sunbeam Electric Frying Pan.  Oh yes, we also had the Mixmaster...

Here is what Big Al did with the Frying Pan.

RECIPE FOR GREY DEATH - From the kitchen of Big Al.

One pound of Mince
One can of potatoes
One can of peas

Heat frying pan to very low.  Cook your mince.  Warning!  It will no longer be 'Grey' if you brown it.  When it is cooked thru and looking disgusting, open your tin of peas and potatoes and add to meat.  DO NOT DRAIN EITHER CAN.

Serve and watch the little so and so's eat it because there's nothing else in the house.


Oh dear, it was a sad life, wasn't it?  I actually remember the grey death, and I made up the last paragraph, but I'm sure the sentiments were there, on both sides. 

I, on the other hand, was extremely spoiled.  Don't forget, I was born in the fifth  of Big Al's regime.  I was the little baby of the family who could do no wrong, and got whatever I wanted. 

Big Al, in her latter years, worked at a restaurant.  Pretty freaky, hey?  So, I could go and eat (chicken maryland) on the weekends.  It at least had salad and fruit with it! 

Chinese on Wednesdays, regularly.  No idea what she ate, but I had short soup, chicken chow mein and fried rice, and a sugar-laden pineapple drink.

Plus there was a take-away shop up the road.  My favourite was battered sav(eloy).  For extra sustenance I could find empty soft-drink bottles and buy lollies at the local squash courts from the refund on the bottles.  If I was lucky I could score a small can of Heinz toddler food - Macaroni cheese - during grocery shopping.  And there was always sugary breakfast cereals which I later realised had cocroach eggs in.  Not That I ever ate them...  You should see all the fillings in my teeth!

School lunches were bought at the tuck-shop and there was Ice Cold School Milk.

There is redemption here, as Grandpappy was a foody!  He had wood-fired barbecuing to a fine art.  Fillet steaks, (medium rare or else), lots of salad and friut, and family time.  In his later years he even had a hoist for the grill so he didn't have to lift it to clean or stock with wood.

Also, we went to the Gold Coast every year for holidays, with all the neighbours and a few tennis friends.  There, we hit every resort that had a public smorgasboard, and I had ham, pineapple, all the watermelon I could eat.  It was during our last holiday together that Big Al returned to Sydney to clean us out and take off. 


But more of that another time. 

When Big Al left, I went back to live with my real mother.  I discovered the joys of raw carrots and real peas.  Plus a jelly for pudding.  Paprika Chicken!!!  (Now my own children's favourite as well as mine.)  Schnitzel!  Salami and Philly on Vogels...  Jarlsberg Cheese... 

Must go now, one of the girls is eating Spag Bog and my salad is waiting...

Bon Appetit!

Other related posts:
Long time no see...
Sitting quietly in the background...
Facebook and other Stuff

Permalink to Big Al and the Grey Death | Add a comment (2 comments) | Main Index

Comment by kinsten, on 18-Jan-2008 13:59

Always something different with you.  Haha, sounds like you have had a grand old experience in life.  =)

Author's note by mobygeek, on 18-Jan-2008 14:47

There's a few experiences I would never want to repeat, either.  Plus a few that will never be divulged.  As long as I can still laugh...

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Linda George
New Zealand

Five Children*, Three Cats*,
One Husband, One of Me.
(Oddly enough...)
A few Aussie Accents,
One dedicated Kiwi,
Several ANZACS.
Go Figure.

*One Kitty Kat...

What I write from my life might just help you in yours...