Growing up in my Balham flat I didn’t exactly share rooms with Fanny and/or Johnny Craddock. While my Mum had many kitchen utensils, she rarely used about 98% of them.
She had a percolator, but this percolated so infrequently, rather than have a sprinkling of chocolate, you were more likely to receive a smattering of dust on your freshly-brewed coffee.
My mother never baked, so the Kenwood Chef might as well have been in Kenwood rather than Balham, although it did make a rather good door stop – unless you were allergic to meringue which would sometimes form on the doorknob.
The things which did get the most use, if only by me using them to explain the offside rule to a very disinterested mother, but rather than adding some literal spice to our food, was the collection of brown (everything was brown in kitchens in the ‘60s) pottery herb and spice containers.
Such was the lack of use we, were more likely to get attacked by Parsley the Lion, weed on by Dill the Dog or assaulted by Bayleaf the Gardener than see any of them in the ingredients at mealtimes.
Mum’s piece de resistance was her egg ‘n’ chips; luckily she never added bergamot!
If you’d have asked her what she liked best about coriander, she’d have said Ena Sharples; Henry VIII was her favourite turmeric and she thought holy Basil was a local priest.