At the time, at school ... I just wanted to be 'normal'.
What I really wanted was 'normal' packed lunches. Like the other kids.
White sliced bread sandwiches with cheese or ham perhaps. A packet of crisps. 'Normal' food.
In my house, sliced bread was a bit of a no-no. Sliced white bread? Never.
My sandwiches were made with AGA-baked wholemeal bread - and mmm, ok, let's say the quality could be 'mixed'!
I remember home-made celery soup that smelled so strongly vegetable-y that it resulted in a whole table of nose-holding (and very dramatic, not to say a little cruel) children screaming and running off to another table leaving me alone.
Of course NOW .. now, I'm glad I wasn't 'normal'.
And glad we had good, healthy, wholesome food and glad I was brought up to cook from scratch.
And I do actually remember many things I did like - and that I think looking back, some of those 'normal' children with their dull sandwiches and nothing fresh to eat were probably envious of.
One of my favourites was 'Savoury Slice'.
I came across the recipe the other day in my mum's old recipe book (full of loose pages, Sellotaped in recipes cut from newspapers and now falling free, handwritten ideas, and leaflets from products and supermarkets over decades).
I was looking for her lentil soup recipe - I didn't find it and we think there wasn't a recipe as such, it was just something she made often.
But I did just come across this long-forgotten 'Savoury Slice' and decided to make it.
Really easy and actually very tasty!
In my opinion, still a very good - although probably still not 'normal' haha - idea for a packed lunch, picnic, snack or a great accompaniment to soup (especially for those who don't eat bread).
Here's what you need:
Approx 200g carrots, grated
Approx 200g Cheddar cheese, grated
1 small-medium onion, peeled and diced
Just over 100g - maybe 120g - oats
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper to season
Prepare the ingredients so everything's ready to go.
Melt the butter in a saucepan and then mix in all the other ingredient.
When completely mixed, tip out into a tin and bake for about 20-30 minutes (check it and see when you think it's done, it's not really that precise!) at Gas 7 / 220 C.
Leave to cool, cut into slices or squares and keep in an airtight container - it'll keep for a few days.
I would have taken a picture of them nicely cut in squares - I was planning to have a couple on the side of the plate along with a bowl of soup.
But then I ate the best looking ones!
I'll just have to make some more - will add another photo next time.