These I Have Loved - but don't eat any more - -
My mother's attitude to food is still rooted just after the war. Anything you couldn't get whilst fighting Hitler, my mother now loves. And a lot of that involved sugar.
So her idea of bread and jam is to take a small piece of bread, slather it in butter and then add as much jam as can be balanced on it without actually falling off. No meal is complete without a slice of cake at the end of it. No dessert is complete without a liberal helping of Instant Whip or Dream Topping. No snack is complete without chocolate.
For my mother, none of this matters. She eats lot of fruit and vegetables too, many of them home-grown. She eats salad every day. Mum was eating five portions of fruit and veg a day before the idea was invented. She doesn't have a big appetite, because she was only five feet tall at her tallest, but she eats a little bit of everything. The original balanced diet. No fads, no funny ideas about food - - just a mixture of lots and lots of fruit and veg, a mixture of cheese and meat for protein - - and plenty of sweet stuff for dessert.
This diet has worked brilliantly for my mother. At eighty-eight, she is incredibly fit. She can still run, and does. She is very flexible, with no trace of arthritis. If there are more people than chairs, she'll be the first one to sit on the floor and thinks absolutely nothing of it. She is out gardening for several hours every day, and not just a little bit of pruning, either - I'll see her with a spade. "Just digging this bed over."
So, I'd guess it's her balanced diet that's done it. Oh yes, and I suspect that the fact that her parents met when they were both members of a gymnastics team helps, too. My grandfather was one of the men at the bottom of the pyramid and my grandmother was the little one on top.
Her father, my grandfather, was a machine-gunner in the First World War at a time when their average life expectancy on the Front was about twenty minutes - - and yet he lived through it all. I'd guess his ability to shoot - - and then run like hell - - probably helped.
I have inherited some of Mum's flexibility - my joints seem as bendy as ever! - and I think my swimming helps with this. Sadly, I didn't inherit her athletic ability.
But, unfortunately, I also inherited my father's genetic tendency to Type 2 diabetes. He was diagnosed very late, after years and years of my well-intentioned mother providing an ending to every meal of jam and cake and chocolate and sugar in all its many enticing forms.
I was diagnosed much earlier, in my forties and have, (with a lot of effort it has to be said!) radically changed my diet. And now I come to what this post was going to be about - - which is the sweet things I don't eat any more. Thinking about it, there are lots of them. All my childhood favourites. Some of these that I loved I eat very, very rarely now: some not at all.
Cake, chocolate, treacle toffee, toffee apples, custard, sweets of all kinds, sponge puddings (ohhh treacle sponge!!) chocolate cake, cheesecake, Instant Whip, Dream Topping (I still love it - - or would do if I ate it) fruit yogurts (LOTS of sugar in them), fresh fruit juice (LOTS of sugar).
Ahhh, glorious food of my childhood. I think I deserve some sort of Government Award for giving it all up.