Let’s Do Lunch!

more than a year ago

Lunch means so many different things to different people. The random fact of where we grew up in means it might mean completely different things to you and me.

I grew up in the UK. During the working week, for me lunch meant grabbing a bacon butty in the sandwich bar downstairs. “Luxury!” my father would have said if he had known of my profligate ways. For him lunch was a round of sandwiches prepared the night before and wrapped in greaseproof paper, on one famous occasion only to be carefully removed from his briefcase, unwrapped and devoured by his colleague’s guide dog.

My father was a mid-ranking civil servant. How different would life have been had he been a Sir Humphrey of Yes Minister fame? Three relaxed courses in an oak-panelled club room, with a bottle of fine claret, possibly a cigar and a cognac at the end? I’m working in the civil service myself now and see that pretty senior folk still bring their lunch from home, an endearingly modest touch. Lunch these days is rarely liquid. Things are not what they once were.

My husband, a Croatian civil servant funnily enough, was horrified when on an exchange visit to the Netherlands he was offered smoked salmon sandwiches, an apple and a glass of milk for lunch. He declined the latter, claiming he would get diarrhoea. He is more used to devouring half a pig on his midday break.

In Zagreb the working day begins earlier than in London, closer to 08:00 than 09:00. So by 11:00 in the morning many tummies start torumble. Which means… it’s time for gablec!


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