Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Michelin Starred it never was

I feel I actually deserve to be recognized for my ingenuity and skill when feeding the under fives. They can be so contrary. Yesterday they ate pasta with pesto , but today they won't. I am not going to rant about the modern Scarborough child v the Hull fifties child.
We did not have the choice of food . Our mothers , unless they came from a different culture from ours served 'plain food'.
This was usually a roast dinner on a Sunday, sliced joint with gravy re-heated on a Monday, and Minced on Tuesday. By Wednesday it might be some braised meat, usually leg of beef and beasts kidney which had stewed slowly for hours. On Thursday a Cauliflower Cheese, would always be followed on Friday by fish. The butcher from Sutton Village (Mr Hickey) called twice a week with his van. The fishmonger from the village (Mr Hilyard) called on Fridays. Joints were usually big. All mince and all roasts , pork or lamb beef were served with Yorkshire pudding cooked as I do now in one large tin. Chicken was for special occasions, and came from Mr Baston who kept a free range flock in the field behind our house. When we wanted eggs , my mother would hang a basket on our shed next to the fence, and the eggs would be there by the evening.
My school friend who lived in Eastmount Avenue had a mother who could make a raised Pork pie. One always hoped to be invited for a meal, and frequently was. The food in this house was different, but it was still plain and of traditional English cuisine. Up the road in Saltshouse Road we had a neighbour who returned from trips on his Trawler and brought us gifts of huge parcels of Halibut and Skate, Haddock and Cod . He later started a frozen Fish Business called Herons, which is still going today , though he and his family emigrated to Canada many years ago. Fish was grilled or poached and served with a white sauce, or fried in a shallow pan of lard.We had no fridge until 1960, so meat was never stored. Most vegetables were home grown. Mr Wiles came up from the village to help with the garden. His dog Judy used to run along side his bike. He had fought in the Boer War. I used to watch him sowing vegetable seeds from a little dispenser . No carrots-they never did well in the clay Riseholm soil. Rows of potatoes. sprouts and beetroot fed us.
"Just go and pick some Kale for lunch will you Margaret?" Remember sisters that awful Kale! We didn't have anything but tinned peas, except in season from the garden, until Erin brought out a dried sort that you added boiling water to !
We always has gravy made from meat juices from the pan, or Bisto with Mr Hickey's sausages.
Our food never varied as it does today until the advent of the supermarket, which promptly killed the trade of our village shop 'Myers'. My mother just loved a trip to Frank Dees supermarket on the Holderness Road in Hull in the 1960's. We began to have different types of cheese and sausages, biscuits and bread, and cakes (Bought Rubbish they were affectionately called by my father).
Here in our small town just south of Scarborough we are still able to buy from small local shops and I do . I never buy vegetables or meat from the Supermarket (which was part of the Frank Dee Chain in the 1970s). I never buy fish from Herons. but from the fishmonger . I am doing my best to cut down airmiles. The spinach in our small garden is feeding us well. With all the option excess we enjoy however I still cannot please the palettes of the under fives. They have never before in history had so much delicious food to choose from. They do garlic, cous -cous, mangoes, chorizo, cumin coriander and quinoa, tropical this and that and malt loaf.
I cooked too many vegetables yesterday to accompany the meatballs and pasta shells. Today they were pureed into chopped tomatoes with 5 cloves of garlic and made in to a sauce for the spinach and rice pie. Right now on the beach are 2 small boys reeking of garlic, and even then one didn't like the pie, just the broccoli and sauce.
What has changed? Were we fussy ? Were our parents stricter? Or have we just forgotten that we put food we didn't like surreptitiously under the table for our spaniel.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Margaret I enjoyed this. Made me feel hungry and I've just finished my tea!!!