My family and food

The Irish Times: We Love Food – Hannah Bates, online advertising

Mon, Nov 11, 2013, 12:15

I love everything food-related; cooking, eating, reading and entertaining . . . but it wasn’t always the case.

My mother recalls one of our first family holidays to a few of the Greek islands when I was three. For the two weeks we were there, I refused to eat anything other than Greek yogurt and crispy bread – eating the yoghurt as a dip, I could get through a whole loaf in one sitting.

Growing up, I was surrounded by food. My dad, Eddie Bates, was a chef, and ran a few restaurants in his time, so food and cooking was a huge part of our family life. As a kid I loved going to see Dad in the restaurant – I was given little jobs to keep me busy and would wander around the tables chatting to the customers.

On a couple of occasions in Capers, Nassau street, when someone called in sick, both parents had to work. One day, I remember being brought up to the storeroom for a nap. When Dad came to check on me a while later he found me beside the freezer, covered in mango and pistachio ice cream – I understood the perks from a very early age!

Christmas was a huge event in the family calendar and always revolved around food. It would start with a huge delivery of all our favourites coming to the house; from lychees to Leonidas chocolates. The struggle was where to store it all, and post-Christmas you would always find something hidden at the back of the fridge.

In our house, Christmas day always starts with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon with a glass of Buck’s Fizz. We never had a turkey dinner until I was in my 20s – it was always a feast of options, from monkfish to rabbit, and could last hours. As a kid I would hate this, because the rule was I couldn’t open any presents until after dinner.

This year will be no different; I’ll spend most of Christmas day in the kitchen with those important to me and a glass of vino close by. We’re opting for a traditional dinner of turkey and beef with all the trimmings, including my favourites – Yorkshire pudding and stir fried sprouts in sesame seed oil – and until it’s over, the present-giving will take a back seat.

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.