family family life in Majorca Family meals

The enemy within


When I was growing up breakfast time was always a battle. A daily war would be fought between my brothers and I about who would get the top of the milk and who would get the toy out of the cornflake packet. If you were having a good day you could score both, an okay day would be at least the others not getting a toy, and if you were having a really bad day then you would be the person with the black cornflake or rice krispie in your bowl. What is it about that? Even though there is probably nothing wrong with the offending nugget of cereal you probably wouldn’t ever eat it, would you? “Don’t be so silly”, we would be told by our grandma, “just eat it”. But there would be squeals of disgust and in some cases a bona fide reason to completely abandon breakfast all together. At least that’s how we would see it.

Breakfast in my house these days is a bit more of a random affair. La Gidg, who is now nine, is getting quite self-sufficient with breakfast and I am trying to train her to make healthy choices. Some of the cereals that we have in our house are muesli based and not the sugary options that perhaps she would really like to eat, so occasionally we have a tussle about what I think she should be having for her brekkie, and what she wants.

“Mummy! I am not going to eat this! It has black bits in it!” I instantly think of my middle brother and his firm stance about not eating unidentified weird bits in his cereal, and I transform into my Grandma. “Just eat it babe, it won’t hurt you,” I plead. “No, it has black bits in it, and they’re MOVING”.

That makes a bit of a difference.  I investigate. I pick up the bowl and immediately drop it on the floor. There’s a moth in my daughter’s breakfast. I cannot tell you how foul that is.

“Yes chick, you don’t need to eat that.” Once I have got over the disgust of finding a creature I try to work out where it has come from. I have a look in the cereal packet, nothing. Then I start to look in the cupboard and notice that yes, there does seem to be something living in there. Straight off down to the ferreteria, “I have “polillas” in my kitchen, what do I do?” The man rolls his eyes, shrugs and points me to an aisle with a variety of sticky bits of cardboard which are designed for the moths to accidentally fly on to. “That’s all you can offer me?” I think, surely if we can put a man on the moon we can control some moths in cereal with a bit more aplomb. But no, that’s it.

So now we are on moth patrol in our house. Every single dried food packet is in a sealed Tupperware container, as if it’s in an Ebola isolation tank. Thankfully, like the rest of Spain we seem to have been successful so far in containing the issue. La Gidg on the other hand is now a big fan of toast.

Vicki McLeod

Leave a Reply