The Ifit

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I am pleased to introduce you to the one and only Geoff blogging over at TanGental

What’s an Ifit?
That’s quite a tricky thing to answer but it is definitely food related.
So that makes it appropriate to appear here, on Esme’s blog, right?

Well, yes, so long as I can actually explain the link between a completely made up word (though one that might help in Scrabble) and food.
In this, as in most things culinary we need to go back to my mother. I inherited many things from Mum when she died, not least her collection of thirteen glass mixing bowls and ten measuring jugs, but the one that is most important, which most reveals the essence of that woman and food is a little wooden sign that now hangs above our tea caddy (does anyone else think it’s odd that we have a tea caddy and a golf caddy but no other form of caddy? What does a dried leaf that creates the ultimate refreshing drink and a smart-arse heaver of clubs have in common? No idea. Sorry, but my blog isn’t called Tangental for nothing).

mum and sam

Where was I? The sign? Yes, sorry.

No matter wherever I place my guests
They always like my kitchen best

Mum was only really ever out of her kitchen for sleep and miscellaneous bodily functions, apart from spending time in her garden.

She cooked to feed, to inspire, to sustain, to console, to love, to mend, to compromise, to mollify and just for the sheer joy of it. But there was one rule, in her kitchen – no, rubbish, there were plenty, but the one I’m thinking of now is the one that said

Thou shall not waste so much as a grain or seed

Carcasses were boiled into stock, stale bread made into puddings, peelings were either juiced or composted. If jam went mouldy then the mould was scraped off and the underlying, and in her view, untroubled lower layer used as if nothing untoward had happened.

And so it was that we might be confronted with a meal that smelt fantastic but had the look and consistency of wallpaper paste. The ingredients may have once been a chicken and a potato but any semblance of those physical characteristics might have long since disappeared. No recipe was troubled in the making of this feast, no ingredient too humble to be excluded.

Ifit2

What are we having, Mum?

She might purse a lip, furrow a brow and continue to stir the pot.

It’s a sort of chicken casserole, darling…

We all knew what was coming

… ifit works

And so it was that the family had another uncharacterizable yet eponymous ‘ifit’ for tea. Chicken and lamb ifits were regulars; after Christmas the turkey ifits were ubiquitous. I don’t recall many dessert ifits but I’m sure there were many.

I inherited many other things from Mum, a lot before she died and one is that no dish is ever ruined by an extra ingredient. My family awaits a lasagne or cottage pie with a certain trepidation if I am the chef. They have been known to play Geoff the Chef bingo to see how many ingredients they can spot in any one dish. No one is surprised if the pork cassoulet has been enhanced with kumquat and chia. In part, it is because, like Mum, I hate to see things go off. But really it is my attempt, in these days of plenty, to pay homage to the simple and homely ifit meals of my youth.

I can be found at geofflepard.com for more of these sorts of dribbly bits of nonsense.

This is me, pretending to be able to fillet a fish

Ifit1

Note the stiff fingers; they’ve actually frozen to the piece of haddock.

If you tweet, then I pop up @geofflepard on occasions.

I’ve written the odd book, too and they are fab, of course. This is my author page if you’d like dander.

 

 

  • Make tomorrow more amazing than today!
  • Just believe in yourself and dream big.
  • Do not give up on your hopes. Take care always.
 

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63 thoughts on “The Ifit”

  1. Well, Geoffle and Co. this was a great bit of entertainment to wake up to, but after reading all these combination, especially about the offal smell, my stomach is churning.
    My mother is quite the opposite. My brother almost died of food poining and ended up in Emergency. He was always picky about food and on the OCD front, but if it’s not brand new, it gets turfed. Indeed, my mother has brought his ham scraps over for my dogs for years.
    I don’t like wasting food and my kids drove me batty with their food refusal so I gave it to the dog. Eventually, he went off to the vet for his check up and weighed around 40 kilos, which is a lot for a Border Collie. Even I was a bit shocked when I realized he was getting about 6 extra meals a day in addition to b\his own food!He was put on an immediate diet. No snacks and to adjust his food if given leftovers. Well, you should’ve seen the look of mortal wounding on his face. He’d definitely translated this food deprivation into “You don’t love me anymore.”
    Meanwhile, the worms in our worm farm were thrilled!
    xx Rowena

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  2. My Mum is very much like Geoff’s in that she hated to see anything go to waste, in her case, even if it was waaaay past its use-by date! My family all have good appetites and strong stomachs!

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  3. I loved this from Geoff and the star guest being his mother who sounded such a great woman. Ifit – love it. Have to say I’m a little like this myself, never follow a recipe, just keep adding stuff 🙂 enjoyable read, I must pick up one of Geoff’s books!

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  4. Your mother and mine where sisters from a different mister, Geoff! We had the same routine at our house. Nothing was wasted – all scraps were turned into something to eat. The worst thing she ever made? Macaroni soup – a milk based soup with macaroni and tomatoes. Yuck! Love the post – nice to see you here. -Molly

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  5. Shall I, the authors brother, make a comment that he would expect –
    Caddy (tea) was originally a far eastern unit of weight, tea arrived in boxes of a ‘caddy’ weight so boxes of tea became known as Caddies.
    Caddy (golf) was the poor sod who carried the clubs until he knew what to do with them. He was the cadet – which became caddy.

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  6. Love it His Geoffleship! I was thinking you had made up a new gadget called an iFit! But the ifit recipe… love it! Your mum sounds very much like mine in that she will never let anything go to waste!!!!

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  7. I love this one, Geoff. Your mom was so much like my grandmother. She made leftovers out of leftovers. To this day I cannot waste food either. Fortunately, hubby is OK with my creative leftover meals! A great guest post, Esme!

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