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Eating in the 50's/60's

Pasta had not been invented. Curry was a surname. A takeaway was a mathematical problem. A pizza was something to do with a leaning tower. Bananas and oranges only appeared at Christmas time. All crisps were plain; the only choice we had was whether to put the salt on or not. A Chinese chippy was a foreign carpenter. Rice was a milk pudding, and never, ever part of our dinner. A Big Mac was what we wore when it was raining. Brown bread was something only poor people ate. Oil was for lubricating, fat was for cooking Tea was made in a teapot using tea leaves and never green. Coffee was Camp, and came in a bottle. Cubed sugar was regarded as posh. Only Heinz made beans. Fish didn’t have fingers in those days. Eating raw fish was called poverty, not sushi. None of us had ever heard of yoghurt. Healthy food consisted of anything edible. People who didn’t peel potatoes were regarded as lazy. Indian restaurants were only found in India. Cooking outside was called camping. Seaweed was not a recognised food. “Kebab” was not even a word never mind a food. Sugar enjoyed a good press in those days, and was regarded as being white gold. Prunes were medicinal. Surprisingly, muesli was readily available, it was called cattle feed. Pineapples came in chunks in a tin; we had only ever seen a picture of a real one. Water came out of the tap, if someone had suggested bottling it and charging more than petrol for it they would have become a laughing stock. The one thing that we never ever had on our table in the fifties & sixties was elbows!

NO UNCOOKED JOINTS ON THE TABLE -was my grandfathers mantra.

My mum - back in the early 60’s -did cook pasta dishes and curries. Way ahead of her time. Granny used to make a curried soup - Mulligatawny. lf my brother turned up with his friends - my dear mum could also produce a bit pot of spaghetti with a onion/garlic/tomato sauce. She would curry anything that stood still!! - Even make a meal of a curry sauce with hard-boiled eggs in. Always contained sultanas and coconut. She was very popular with all our friends.

lt was in the early 60’s that the first chinese restaurant opened in our small town. And we loved going there. Then they started doing take-aways. And it has always been a bit of a joke with us - The D for 4 - off the menu. Sweet and Sour Pork -Lemon Chicken - Duck in Plum Sauce - Chow Mein -’ flied rice’ - plawn qwackers!!

Can remember my grandfather saying ‘lm not eating that chinese muck’ - and my mum saying ‘starve then because thats what we are having.’ Then, of course, once he had tried it he soon changed his tune.

Mums coming up to her 90th birthday - and she relys on ‘ready meals’ now - or ‘ping meals’ in the microwave. And she likes the curries and chinese ones.