Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Typical meals in our 1970's household

Breakfasts were weetabix, porridge or cornflakes with a sprinkle of sugar. I never liked either or them and still don't. I'm not a big fan of my food going soggy (I don't do gravy either it seems such a waste to make your crisp potatoes go all soggy, custard, scrambled eggs, rice pudding, creme caramel - you get the picture).  So I used to eat weetabix with some butter and jam and eat them like a crumbly bit of bread - I don't think that's going to work for me this time around do you?  Other than that it was a couple of pieces of toast but the bread wasn't cut so thickly in the packets - as a treat for breakfast we would have kippers! I loved them even though they stink the house out - boil in the bag kippers with some butter and some bread - it was a bit time consuming eating the thing as there were so many bones etc but as I say it was usually a Saturday 'treat'.

My packed lunch was equally uninspiring - marmite sandwich or sandwich paste that came in little jars (crab, beef, chicken), again on wafer thin bread (by today's standards in any event). Spam/corned beef - I prefer the latter. Tins with ridiculous keys to open them.  Together with a wagon wheel, which was much bigger than today's wagon wheel or a club biscuit but that was it.  I even used to eat my lunch on the
way to school especially when I had to walk about 2 miles to get there. My poor friend Kerry was sometimes relieved of part of her lunch - I have since apologised via facebook and she seems to have grown into a fine adult and the experience has not left her scarred in anyway.

Now for dinner - the toughest liver you can imagine teamed with bacon and gravy.  I have never eaten liver again even though I'm told done in the right way can be very nice.  Always shepherd's pie and frozen peas, smash mash (with no cheese, carrots or anything fancy in it) with some meat cooked to an inch of its life. Cod in parsley sauce (yuk), rice with onions in it, tinned foods, roast dinners with beef and Yorkshire puds were lovely if my nan did them (although mum's weren't too bad).  My nan did, though, cook the roast potatoes in LARD! No wonder they tasted lovely. 

My best friend Cath who I've know since I was 17 reminded me yesterday of the delights of Findus crispy pancakes (melted cheese!) and in her household, as her mother worked, there were are lot of convenience foods being dished up.  I remember my grandad had a shed full of tinned foods - fruits, soups etc. Chicken Kiev did feature also.  I can't remember the exact time we got a microwave but my mum was surely doing a merry jig - everything got microwaved you could even cook a chicken in the microwave people said - I have never cooked a chicken in the microwave and never will!! But there was genuine excitement about this latest device. My sister remembers on a Friday we had the thinnest steak with chips and peas .  If you were hungry after dinner you were told to have a slice of bread to fill you up.

The other night my husband and I ( he was born in 1964) really laughed remembering all the main meals.  He's Scottish and lived in Manchester and they were poor. His mum worked in a restaurant and bought home the left over food from people's plates. He said one meal would be boiling an onion and putting some pepper on it!

'Afters' as we called it although in my household my husband calls it pudding so we say 'what's for pudding' - was again pretty plain - creme caramel in a pot (see above), yoghurt, tinned fruit cocktail in juice. Angel delight, rice pudding - yuk, yuk, yuk. No wonder people of a certain age are having a field day with all the delights that are offer to use now. 

Stodgy puddings were a favourite like treacle pudding, baked apples with treacle - come to think of it golden syrup did feature heavily. Rhubarb crumble, blackberry crumble (from the bushes), apple crumble not in a week night though always the weekend.

I'm sure lots more delights will come to me not to mention the limited drinks - enter the soda stream!.....


  1. how often did people in your generation eat out, was it common for some social groups, or was it a once in a while thing?

    1. nobody ate out we couldn't afford it eating out for us was a day at the seaside with a bag of chips from the fish and chip shop wrapped in newspaper. i suppose that was the first takeaways at the time.

  2. @Alyssa that’s a very good question

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