Tim: What did you think?
Andrew (11): I liked it. It was tasty. There were lots of tastes.
Tim: Are there any that stand out?
Andrew: None stand out. It was well balanced.
Tim: I liked it. I liked that it no longer made me hungry.
Maureen: Are you just trying to be nice? You know what Mom said: You can always find one nice thing to say about people.
Nicholas (7): Gag. Gag. Gag. Spicy! Is it my turn yet?
Maureen: That’s the five-spice powder.
Tim: What’s in it?
Maureen: (Getting up to fetch it) I’ve had this five-spice ever since Jamie Oliver told me to get it, circa 2002. He said it was good with fish, and he was right. It’s got cinnamon, fennel, star anise, ginger and cloves. Hey! Look at this! The bottle predates Nicholas. It’s got a Best Before October 2003.
Nicholas: Is it my turn now?
Nicholas: When it touched my tongue, I wanted to get it out. It was too spicy. It also felt as though something was out of date.
(Laughter around the table ensues.)
Maureen: Would you want me to make it again?
Andrew: Big surprise.
Tim: I’d like to have it again.
Maureen: It was easy, but expensive. It was £12 for the fillet.
Tim: It’s as expensive as beef fillet.
Maureen: But it’s good to have fish. We should have it more.
(The next day)
Nicholas: Did you throw away the out-of-date spices yet??