Family Mealtime Mayhem
Posted on February 16, 2018
It’s well known that mealtimes are often one of the most important family occasions; an opportunity for everyone to sit down together outside of increasingly busy schedules, share stories and reinforce relationships. Unfortunately, the recent trend has been for group eating around the table to slowly die out, sadly replaced by solitary meals in the living room in front of the television.
Here at Sheffield Mutual, we’re not giving up on this particular family institution and decided to take a look at the less celebrated side of eating as a family. We asked you for your most memorable mealtime mishaps, culinary chaos or outright dining room destruction and then invited Yorkshire illustrator Christine Jopling to bring them to life in her own unique style.
So, without further ado, here are our favourite food-related fails:
“About 11 years ago, I went round to my girlfriend’s parent’s house to meet them for the first time. I was really nervous, of course, but they had kindly made a delicious duck salad which we all gathered round to tuck into. I was sat opposite her little brother and, as I bit into a cherry tomato, it burst in my teeth and fired across the table all over her little brothers face. It was unbelievably awkward and still haunts me to this day!”
“My family and I were eating out at a well-known cafe in central London on a lovely, sunny day. We were sat outside enjoying our salads and smoothies when all of a sudden, our three-year old son Alexander decided to start weeing everywhere in the middle of the street, through his clothes and without any pre-warning. I quickly grabbed him and hurried him off the street and to the safety of the cafe toilet, much to his amusement!”
“I went to visit a friend at her log cabin in the Lake District and took my two dogs along with me. She had made a delicious lasagne for everyone and had lit a few tea lights around the table to create a nice ambience. Once we had finished the meal, we all went to sit on the sofas to watch a film. After ten minutes, I heard a strange noise coming from behind me and, as I turned around, I saw one of my dogs not only licking the remains out of the lasagne dish but also having set fire to a paper napkin after excitedly knocking over one of the tea lights. Everything suddenly descended into a slapstick film as we jumped up to rescue the lasagne, table and dog alike!"
“I had family visiting for lunch one day and bought some lovely fresh prawns to use as the main ingredient. Once we had eaten the dish and were happily chatting away around the table, my husband leaned over and quietly asked me whether I had cooked them properly. My heart dropped as I realised I had served them completely raw and, after excusing myself from the table, quickly called the fishmonger to ask what fate awaited us. He told me in no uncertain terms that we would likely end up extremely poorly and strongly advised us to make ourselves sick as soon as possible to mitigate the risk. It’s safe to say our pleasant family afternoon was ruined by an orderly procession of trips to the bathroom to rid our stomachs of the offending crustaceans…”
“My late father made the clever decision to train our dog to jump over his back from behind when he bent over. It was all very impressive and entertaining when we were younger but one time, it came back to bite him. My mother had gone to work, leaving his dinner in the oven to keep warm. He leant down to take his food out, which the dog mistook as the cue for his party trick, leaping over his back and straight into the mashed potatoes. I still don’t know whether or not my dad just ate the mash anyway!”
It just goes to show that you can spend as much time as you like organising an enjoyable dinner for your family but sometimes plans have an unfortunate way of falling apart in impressive fashion. Nonetheless, we still feel that there’s nothing more important than sitting down as a family and enjoying some good old grub as a group. Do you have any mealtime mayhem experiences? If so, let us know!