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Thursday, 7 April 2016

A-Z: I Remember....Food

I Remember When......
    Recalling Memories of My Childhood 

Fussy and unadventurous - that describes me as regards FOOD  in the 1950's when  meals were simple, hearty and all home prepared. 

Breakfast was Weetabix, but as I hated milk over anything I used to spread it with marmalade and eat it dry.  Saturday meant a cooked breakfasts treat of bacon, sausage, fried bread and fried egg.
Main meals did not vary much - a roast on a Sunday lunch  with the left-overs on Monday either turned into cottage pie (delicious)  or served cold with chips;  sausage and mash, Lancashire Hotpot, (one of my favourites)    corned beef hash and on Friday fish and chips.  For vegetables my only memory is of peas, onions and carrots plus Brussel sprouts (ugh)  at Christmas. 

Desserts were puddings at least once a week, such as spotted dick with custard  or golden syrup sauce, baked apples, and rice pudding (which my father loved all his life but I hated),with the weekend treat fruit pies or crumbles or lemon meringue.  Shrove Tuesday meant pancakes served with sugar and lemon.

Sunday tea was invariably egg & cress or paste sandwiches followed by tinned peaches or jelly.  or jelly fluff (whipped up with evaporated milk) and chocolate cake with butter icing. or other home baking. 

Friday was my mother's baking day to set us up for the weekend and week ahead - cakes and biscuits with fruit pies or crumbles (apple, rhubarb, gooseberry, blackcurrant or blackberry).  Favourite Sunday desserts were trifle  and jelly fluff (whipped up with evaporated milk). I disliked blancmange but liked Angel Delight.  Icecream was a very special treat, reserved for birthdays, as we did not have a fridge until c.1958, so it had to be bought at the last minute.  [Below my mother's recipe book]


We always sat round the table for meals, apart from Sunday tea when it was round a  trolley,   whilst we watched the classic Sunday serial on the television - or "The Lone Ranger" with Tonto and "Hiya Silver".

Snacks were generally unheard of - bread and jam in the afternoon, very occasional packet of plain crisps where you had to hunt for the little  blue twist of salt,  or in summer a rhubarb stick from the garden to dip into a poke of sugar.

I stayed for school dinners as we lived a bus ride away from school.  Like most people,  I hated them, especially the fatty  meat, red cabbage and the milk puddings - rice, tapioca (called frog spawn) and semolina where I tried to eke out the miserable spoonful of jam to disguise the awful taste.  Also among my dislikes soggy  bread & butter pudding and Queen's pudding (apart from the meringue topping),   Current pie was one of my favourites - despite its nickname of "fly pie" or "fly cemetery". Menus did not change much over my 13 years of school life.

Looking back so much of this food seems stodgy and fattening, yet I cannot remember obesity being an issue.  I suppose we walked everywhere, played outside, got plenty of fresh air and exercise and did not snack as today.  

Most of these memories come from my primary school days and the towns we lived in had little cosmopolitan influences.  Nothing sticks particularly in my mind of later meal trends - we had  chicken more often, tinned salmon for Sunday tea and grapefruit for breakfast.  It was years before I became more adventurous with my tastes and braved pasta and pizzas, Chinese and Indian food!  

I am now into healthy eating, so will eat vegetables (even sprouts),  I would not touch as a child.

What FADS & FASHIONS did you follow?  
What was your FIRST MEMORY?  Mine was being taken to see my new baby brother.
What FREEDOM did you have as a child?   Unlike today's children, we were free to play and roam in nearby parks, streets and friend's houses as long as we were back for lunch and teatime.  Teenage years were much stricter in terms when we were expected to be in  in the evening.  


Onto G for Grandparents  & Games

In Case You Missed.....
A-Z Challenge 2016 Theme Revealed:   
I Remember......Memories of Childhood

Copyright © 2016 -  Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved


  1. My grandmother used to serve tapioca often. I loved it, especially when it was really cold right out of the refrigerator. But now that I read "frog spawn" I'm so grossed out I might never eat it again. HA HA HA You have so many clear food memories. Mine are fuzzy. My dad was an on again-off again Catholic, but my mother tried to adhere to the practice of "no meat on Friday." We seemed to alternate between fish sticks, tuna fish sandwiches, and salmon cakes.

  2. My food was like your food - Shredded Wheat every morning. I hated anything that felt mushy in my mouth. Lunch was usually a sandwich, baloney and relish, or grilled cheese until I got to High School. There my friends Mom was the cook and we had great meals. Dinner was the same every week - a big roast Sunday lasting hopefuly through Thursday. Friday usually sausages or eggs or spaghetti. Saturday was chicken cooked on the indoor spit/bbq. We always ate as a family and that was the time to tell about our days. My brothers and I had to wash up every day except during exams.
    We had to sit at the table until we ate everything on our plate - even dessert! (I think a product of parents that lived through war and the depression

  3. We walked home for lunch until junior high school. My mother was a teacher and my father was a minister who was home at lunch time and so he fixed our lunches. They were always canned soup or some other canned stuff. No desserts. I remember he fixed canned onion soup once blech! In junior high and high school I took a packed lunch. I remember lots of cheese sandwiches with a pickle and some potato chips on the side. I bought milk. and rarely a piece of pie.

  4. I don't think we were even allowed to walk home for lunch, though it was walking distance. It was always sandwiches and fruit from home and ,ayre once a week, there would be lunch from the tuckshop...sausage rolls or such.

    Mum always baked in Saturday and we nearly always had some sort of dessert.


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