My upbringing - as far as food was concerned - was . . . well, not exactly basic, but certainly not adventurous. Main courses were generally meat, potatoes and a vegetable. I don't think a second green vegetable made an appearance on our plates other than on Christmas Day. Puddings tended to be steamed puddings, suet puddings or milk puddings (think rice, macaroni, tapioca, sago and semolina). I would not wish you to think that my mother was not a good cook; she was, but she was a typical Englishwoman of her generation as far as food was concerned. Pasta (other than macaroni in a milk pudding) never made an appearance. Just like pasta, olive oil was 'foreign' and therefore suspect.
And then I met the Old Bat, only then, of course, she was still a Young Bat. It was she who introduced me to a whole new culinary world; scallops (which I don't actively dislike but about which I don't exactly rave), spaghetti Bolognaise and Chinese food. Fish, of various types, was cooked differently to my mother's standard way with cod (never any other variety) and I discovered prawns.
But despite my ever-widening horizons, I was always diffident about trying something for the first time whereas the slightly older than she was Young Bat was usually game for anything (except raw fish and sheep's eyes). Now, however, our roles are reversed. The Old Bat refuses even to contemplate trying any food that might be even slightly spicy, so Indian is right out. I have suggested trying other restaurants serving, for example, Brazilian food as I reckoned that should be fairly straightforward. I, on the other hand, have eaten Thai, Indian and Japanese (including sushi) and i thoroughly enjoy snails when in France.
So when it was suggested that the Lions' monthly dinner meeting should be at a Turkish restaurant, I was quite happy to try it out. But I did wonder about the OB. Sure enough, she expressed concern. After all, it might be different! Fortunately, I learned from the web site that the restaurant serves such standards as salmon, sea bass and sea bream.
And so it was that on Thursday we ate Turkish. The OB enjoyed her sea bream, although she expressed surprise when the Mediterranean vegetables that the menu said would be served with it turned out to be French beans, cauliflower, broccoli and carrots. I ate borek as a starter, followed by musakka, which was different to the moussaka the OB cooks as it contained aubergines, which I had never eaten before.
Even the OB declared the meal a success!