I’m in a state of panic: over breakfast at the American Embassy sports club this morning, our son announced today that this will be his last baseball season. I almost choked on my ‘Thick and Hearty’ A1 Steak Sauce! Apparently, there’s nothing we can do to talk him out of this momentous decision but it’s one which is going to leave a big food-shaped hole in our lives.
Now we’re not pushy parents but for the last four years we have lobbied hard for him to play in the Little League baseball at the American Embassy. Not out of any desire to hobnob with senior diplomats, you understand, or because we think he might be in with a shout of a sports scholarship to a US college. It’s not even any particular love of the game – although I’m starting to prefer the mild-mannered pace of pitching and catching to the testosterone-fuelled aggression of our own national sport. No, as usual, it comes down to food. Obviously, we’re as proud as the next parents to see our son charging round the field, but if truth be told we do miss the occasional home run because the reason we’re so keen for our lad to don the mitt is so that we can hang out in the Diner.
It’s not Old Delhi but for a dour Scot such as myself, Saturday morning at the American compound is almost as exotic: I get to do ‘stop and chat’ (in Scotland we just scowl and moan about the weather); sit in the ‘bleachers’ (at home we shiver on the touchline) and yell ‘you gotta piece of it’ – just like they do in the movies. But best of all we get to gorge on burgers and Reese’s Cups. The breakfast muffin in the picture – ham, egg and melted cheese in a toasted English muffin – followed by coffee and doughnuts on the bleachers is a particularly great way to start the weekend.
But unless our son decides to come out of retirement, it could all be a thing of the past. I’m going to have to start the lobbying for next year very, very soon!
Breakfast Muffins: available at the American Embassy sports club (as long as you have a kid playing baseball!), Chanakyapuri, New Delhi