Juicy thighs with crushed Italian tomatoes.

photothighs and toms

The time has arrived to once again take to food writing. It was yesterday when we combined a visit to the Campbeltown quack on the way to grandsonal watching duties in Sydney. Grandson watching used to be combined with cooking a meal at home and taking it in an esky to Sydney and re-heating the lot for the starving grandsons.

Both grandsons now go to high school. The youngest for the first time. Again, memories came flooding back that I thought had gone and deeply buried or al least permanently dormant. It seems, no matter how deep things get buried sooner or later someone will dig it out. Those Dutchmen long gone on those forlorn West Australian Islands murdered and buried hundreds of years ago are being exposed now and will be remembered forever by those that write history.
Can you imagine the horrors of those years?

But a more relevant memory, at least more relevant to this piece is the issue of ‘school uniforms’. How my mother rallied against them. I can still see her in full flight off to school defending her stance on education = allowing, nay encouraging individuality, which was the crux of her argument. All to no avail. She finally had to cave in. The subject was not open for reason or logic. She so gutturally pleaded as a last line of defence, ‘why not have at least all uniforms the same, no matter what school students go to?’ Her Dutch practical mind did not easily give up? She badly underestimated the might of Anglo-Saxon traditions and their much beloved credo; ‘if it isn’t broke don’t change’.

And now, go forward sixty years, I am off to school with grandson Max in tow hoping to at least get a couple of bargains from the second hand uniform shop at school’s office. He needed long pants, grey of course. Shoes,black of course. Blazer ($350.- new) with school motto (of course). This old man has mellowed and I did not argue at all, just smiled but remembered. Forgive me mum, it is all so much water under the bridge now. Some things never change, least of all school uniforms.

Max with school uniform apparel in a black plastic back and I drove home in the Peugeot with foot rest (of course). I then started on a lovely meal of chicken thighs and pan fried potatoes all drizzled with fine olive oil and a can of Italian crushed tomatoes with lots of sage and thyme.

Lovely it was and the boys loved it.

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19 Responses to “Juicy thighs with crushed Italian tomatoes.”

  1. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Mmmm, makes me hungry. And I am with your mother on the uniform bit, Gerard, even though my wife, the retired elementary school principal, assures me they are a good thing. $350 is a little steep however. I’d put it up there in the clouds with ripoff. 🙂 –Curt


  2. bkpyett Says:

    Lucky grandsons to have such a devoted grandfather!


  3. Yvonne Says:

    You’re a good grandfather!

    We came from Canada, and I was like your mother, thought the uniforms were an affront. The headmaster at the high school threatened to suspend my son (he was a very good scholar, President of the Student Council, etc.) if we didn’t comply with the uniform edict. We stuck to our guns anyhow! I’m not so brave nowadays.

    I’m happy not to have been on the Batavia.


  4. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Back in the day, the idea of uniforms was OK, but for kids who couldn’t even afford them, knock-off look alikes didn’t cut the mustard either. $350 is outrageous.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The $350.- comes from my grandson. Looking at the list it is actually $225.- which is still a large amount. They also have music uniform, cricket, soccer, summer, winter. It all adds up and at times I think the uniforms fixation is extreme.


  5. Silver in the Barn Says:

    $350 is outrageous, indeed. I agree with Kayti. But the meal sounds priceless, Gerard.


  6. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Memories never die and these seem to be good ones. My children went to public schools and there was no uniform code.

    Your cooking looks delicious. Chicken and tomatoes. Simple yet very tasty.


  7. M-R Says:

    Hope that bloke wasn’t one of your ancestors, Gerard … [grin]


  8. greenwritingroom.com Says:

    Wow, that’s a grim story. Though supper looks very yummy.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      It is grim. But how amazing that some then rowed from those West Australian islands to Java and came back with help. However, hacking off hands before hanging wasn’t very nice. A very good book has been written about that event.


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