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Thursday, 26 March 2015

Food Nostalgia & a SAHM

Thank you to everyone for your kind and sympathetic comments yesterday on my little Grandson's broken finger.  He is indeed a brave little soul and is on the mend :)

I still feel off colour though.  I didn't sleep well and now my head feels twice it's normal size and I keep feeling quite dizzy, it's a rough old bug....

Anyway, after a night of torrential rain the earth looks and smells fresh and invigorated.  The rain is still falling now though it is gentler and sounds comforting on the roof.  I have to go out later to take dear Father-in-Law shopping though I would really prefer to stay indoors and catch up on my sleep.  C'est la vie....

Frugal Queen made a great post yesterday about the TV programme called 'Back in Time for Dinner' which started me thinking about what we used to eat when I was a child.  Boy, did some memories start to surface!




During the 1930's our mother worked in tailoring with her sisters but gave up work the day before she got married and never went back to it.  She never earned another single penny of her own, which I find absolutely incredible.  I was born in 1949, the middle child of 3, and my memories begin in 1951 when, at the age of 2 the family moved into a brand spanking new council house on a new estate.  It had no central heating but was the absolute 'bees knees' as far as housing went at that time.  Dad worked hard but we were never that well off  and mum cooked from scratch every day.  The usual fare was things like pigs trotters, ox tail stew, boiled brains mashed with egg, faggots held together with kell (which was, I think, the lung lining of an animal), braised kidneys, liver and does anyone remember chitterlings?  Yuk, yuk, yuk!  I hated all of it and would only eat egg and chips, jacket potatoes and cheesy things.  Do you think that could be why I don't eat meat now? :/ Our weekend treat was a chicken which was roasted on a Saturday and provided roast dinners with roast potatoes and one vegetable for 5 of us for 2 days running (10 meals), the chicken being eaten cold on Sunday.  I remember her making brawn for dad's sandwiches once.  She had to boil an animal head ( sheep or pig, I can't recall) and pick the tiniest bits of meat from all over the skull (sorry to any other vegetarians out there, it's ok to stop reading now) and then press it all into a bowl, shove a weight on it and keep it cool overnight until it set into a sliceable chunk.  OMG, no wonder I am traumatised regarding meat eating :/

Mum was a good cook when it came to sweet treats though.  She made lots of apple pies, rice puddings, egg custards (which often turned themselves upside down during cooking ...lol) and my favourite....jam tarts made with the leftover bits of pastry.  I still have a sweet tooth now, unfortunately.



Dad tried growing potatoes in our new large (wild) garden but he failed miserably and never bothered again!  He also attempted to make some ginger beer from a culture given to him by a mate at work.  It looked good and was stored in bottles in the small bedroom until they exploded one day allowing a flood of ginger beer to come through the ceiling!  That was the end of that!

As we got older things like fish fingers appeared and I remember a van emblazoned with ESKIMO setting up in the town centre and handing out samples of cooked fish fingers to try.  Well, I was in heaven when I tasted those and mum had another item to add to my menu of ' will actually eat it' food.  I must have been a nightmare to feed but I was never given anything different to the rest of the family, she just didn't put meaty things on my plate after a while.  Even now I am happy with a plate of veggies and gravy for dinner.  Luckily my brother was (and still is) different in that he will try almost anything.  I have many more memories flooding back but I won't bore you all with too long a post....

I would be interested to know if anyone else's mum was a SAHM as most of my friends' mothers worked and thought it strange that mine didn't. Was she an oddity not to work after 1937?  Or was she a bit spoilt?  She spent the first 10 years of married life living with her parents including, obviously, the war years when dad was in the army (she had given birth to my sister in 1939) Could that have been the deciding factor?  Comments welcome :)

Thanks everso for popping in x



8 comments:

  1. My mum married in 1952 and never went back to any outside work after that though she did the 'books' for dad's building work. Lot's of mums in our country village iin the 1960s didn't work as they didn't drive and there was nothing much around.

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  2. My mother never 'worked' from when the first of her three children was born (I being the sprightly youngest at 50 this year). But she has worked so hard as a SAHM over the years never stopping to maintain the family home, always baking, tending the very large garden, training greyhounds for racing for many years (whilst my father took the plaudits), and never letting illness stop her. Even now in her eighties, riddled with arthritis, she continues to do far to much!
    I think partly this was to do with my draconian father whose views of 'family structure' were, and still are, a throwback to the little lady stayed at home providing meals, pressed clothes etc when required. Even now he can be found sitting in his chair shouting for a cup of tea as my mother struggles with all too many chores. I've tried to talk to both of them about this but this is how they seem to like their lives, I just find it sad myself and would never treat my new partner, or previous ones for that matter, this way.
    Sorry for waffling,
    John

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    1. Not waffling at all, John, it seemed to be very much the culture at the time. Glad things have changed a bit.

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  3. Growing up on a holding we all worked, my Mum went out to work before she had us. Then she worked in the house and garden, so she could still look after us, later when the land was sold off and we were able to be left she went back to work and loved it. The house was never empty though, either Mum or Granny were there, sometimes it was Grandfather which meant any of us at home were in the garden with him or, if we were very good, in his shed.

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  4. A lovely interesting post, I was born later than you but my mum worked until she was pregnant with me & from what I can remember wasn't allowed to return to work so became a sahm to my siblings & I. Quite possibly from picking the wrong person to marry (if ever there was a couple not to marry it was my parents) being particularly bad at budgeting & resentful of the fact she had to give up work she didn't actually make a very good job of being a sahm. When my sister & I started our own families she & to be fair my father were keen for us to continue our careers. Bad parents but much loved grandparents. She was never a keen home cook so meals were very hit & miss, salad was always a relief to see on the table. I do remember a bread van, milk van & fruit & veg van coming round & of course no supermarkets. I now have a pleasant memory in my mind of eating cherries out of a brown paper bag now, so thank you.

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    1. Gosh, I remember the bread van, milk float and coalman too, Joanne. What interesting memories have been surfacing :)

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  5. chitterlings ...im nearly chucking up at the thought , the real horror on the menu was tripe though , i still cant look at it

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    1. OMG tripe! I had forgotten that....horrible stuff!

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