13 Jan

I sat alone at the long bench, back to the serving hatch, legs swinging. The teacher stood over me “You are not leaving the table until you have finished everything on your plate.”

The greasy, slaughterhouse smell of cheap mince hung in the air and the thought of putting even one forkful of the grey, gristly sludge into my mouth made me retch.

I tried hiding it under my fork, but even as I did so, I knew I wasn’t fooling anyone. I gazed out of the lower ground floor window at the narrow strip of grey sky. I fiddled with the pleats on my school uniform skirt. I pushed the meat around the hospital-green plate.

“OK, you can get down if you have two mouthfuls.” A teacher itching to get back to the staffroom is no match for a stubborn six year old.

I recognised a decent compromise when I saw one and ate two forkfuls, as quickly as possible, trying not to smell the food as I gagged on pieces of gristle and fat.

Gulping a glass of water to take the taste away solidified the coating of fat on my tongue and the roof of my mouth. I could taste it all afternoon.

I’ve never learnt to like mince.

This post was inspired by Josie’s writing workshop over at Sleep is for the Weak. She asked what I’ve never learnt. http://sleepisfortheweak.org.uk/2010/01/13/writing-workshop-forgotten/


25 Responses to “Mince”

  1. Karin at Cafe Bebe 13/01/2010 at 12:27 pm #

    Making me think twice about my mince! 😉

  2. Mummy Mania 13/01/2010 at 3:35 pm #

    I love this post! So nostaligic and horribly real! Found you at Judith’s Room, and have thoughts of a 6month trip with our girls in 2018 (I know it’s a long way off, but between school saving and planning we thought it the best time.) Looking forward to reading about your exploits.

  3. Pamela 13/01/2010 at 3:47 pm #

    I’ve got some nightmarish memories of school dinners, too!

  4. leslieanne 13/01/2010 at 4:12 pm #

    so well described – felt like i was there with you!!
    and, makes me glad to be a veggie- quorn mince is nom nom nom, and never greasy or gritty 😀

  5. Josie 13/01/2010 at 4:27 pm #

    EWW!! So evocative and beautifully written though! You do know that not all mince is like that horrible school dinner stuff though right?!

  6. itsasmallworldafterallfamily 13/01/2010 at 5:03 pm #

    Josie and Leslieanne, I do eat mince these days, usually only if I’ve cooked it myself. I’m still suspicious.

    Thank goodness for Sir Jamie eh?

  7. turtleturtleturtle 13/01/2010 at 7:09 pm #

    Never eat other people’s mince! Surely that’s a rule of life? 😉

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 14/01/2010 at 3:16 pm #

      definitely a good rule!

  8. English Mum 13/01/2010 at 7:47 pm #

    Ohhh but it can be so yummy too…

    *fights urge to start typing out recipes*…

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 13/01/2010 at 8:27 pm #

      Please do send me recipes. I think it’s time i learned to love it.

  9. scrummycupcake 13/01/2010 at 8:17 pm #

    yuk! can see why you don’t like it!
    my pet hate is plain cold potato, it’s the texture bleugh!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 14/01/2010 at 3:16 pm #

      potatoes should definitely be hot.

  10. Heather 14/01/2010 at 2:34 pm #

    Brilliant post, great little details, loved this.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 14/01/2010 at 3:15 pm #

      thanks x

  11. Tattooed_mummy 14/01/2010 at 2:52 pm #

    Oh my lord that brought back some memories!! I was forced to eat liver at school once (I promptly vomited it up over the dinner lady!! score one to me!) but I have NEVER learned to like it!

    ooh I could taste it again as I read that piece! so thanks for that!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 14/01/2010 at 3:15 pm #

      No worries, we aim to please 😉

  12. amy 31/03/2010 at 1:49 pm #

    i remember being forced to finish my lunch at school i can’t remember what it was but i faked falling off my chair just so i could leave lol!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 01/04/2010 at 9:12 am #

      I should have tried that, brilliant idea!

  13. Vegemitevix 31/03/2010 at 1:50 pm #

    Can’t stand cheap mince! Ick ick ick! I actually retched reading this, it was that evocative! Well done.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 01/04/2010 at 9:10 am #

      Thank you, glad to have made you retch! We did actually have mince for lunch yesterday. It wasn’t pleasant.

  14. Paula 03/04/2010 at 1:28 pm #

    This is exactly the post I was thinking about! I remember writing a comment and then deleting it…too nervous!

    How times have changed 😉


    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 03/04/2010 at 2:56 pm #

      Frankly, we could do with a little more nervousness these days Madam.

      What was there to be nervous about? I’m hardly Sue Sylvester…

  15. Paula 03/04/2010 at 3:23 pm #

    Are you saying I’ve crossed a line?! I could revert to my mouse-like-state if you like….

    You may not be Sue Sylvester, but I’m guessing there’s a familial link…

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 04/04/2010 at 1:54 pm #

      Oi! What are you saying about my mother?


  1. Maintenance Issues « It's a small world after all - 25/03/2010

    […] see, pillows and mince aside, I’ve always been quite low […]

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