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But for all the talk of starting early on food, I was not unlike a serial-killer when it came to meal times – I would break, torture and kill the hardest resolve of whoever took it on themselves to feed me. This was no regular pot-boiler – tears, anger, and frustration clearly overshadowed love, laughter and levity when meal times approached, leaving untouched dishes, spilled water, curried walls and tear-stained cheeks in their wake – crime scenes of devastation that Mom still recounts with relish!

Things changed quickly with the ‘evil’ food warden Aunty Moore at boarding school replacing a coaxing and pleading Mom, and dinner plates got wiped clean, if needed with elbows, to avoid negative marks, or worse, wooden ruler marks. If they had spared the rod then, this child would have been saved… from a few repeat offences of school punishments, for sure, but also from many other greater and better things in life like beef jerkies, Kalimpong cheese, pure English chocolate fudge, marzipan sticks and Christmas cakes, all bartered with exchange student boarders for a few smuggled oranges and apples from my breakfast. And so began my earliest taste adventures…

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