Monday, 5 February 2018

Tuesday Food Blog - There's nothing new

I caught an advertisement for a TV programme in which a real family are put through the privations of living in various decades of the twentieth century. They should have just asked what life was like from some of us baby boomers.

Post war fry up

As I've mentioned many times before I was lucky to be brought up in a household where great care was taken over the weekly budget. Those were the days, five years after WWII had ended, where the vast majority worked but the wages were low and jobs were hard. Women were unashamedly the homemakers and my mother was, on reflection, a bit of an expert. People used to say that we were rich because we had the first black and white TV and the first car, but in fact my parents worked and saved to buy those things. Like many others in the village Dad was a mechanic in the local coal mine and mother stayed home to look after me until I was 11.  

A big difference in life was the fact that you couldn't borrow money from banks, in fact borrowing was frowned upon as if it was immoral if not dishonest! So managing your budget, which included planning for children, was a fiscal necessity. It shouldn't be assumed that mother was 'the little woman at home', in fact she was the driving force using a meagre budget to make great strides. Part of that job was planning meals and that led to a fairly regular menu. Usually there would be a 'fry up' on one day during the week and it would look something like what you would see in the photo above.

Nothing remarkable you may think but the protein representation was a little on the thin side. It has been possible to buy PEK chopped ham for over 60 years and occasionally, if there was a lack of meat in the house a couple of rounds of the canned processed meat would be fried and used as substitutes for bacon, spam or sausage.

Pie, peas and mash

Pie, peas and mash was sometimes a Saturday meal that was both nourishing and inexpensive. Mother was a pastry cook for the Freemason's (spare time job) and so her short crust pies were delicious.

If you add to the above information that Dad grew his own potatoes, peas and various other vegetables then these were positive actions supporting the budgeting that Mum did. Life in the fifties and early sixties was not a bed of roses but if you worked hard and stayed out of debt many things were possible.

God Bless