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School Dinners in the 1960's

(116 Posts)
Linsco56 Tue 03-May-16 18:24:11

Kids today have a wide choice of what to eat in school dinner hall. Salad Bar/Vegetarian/choice of hot well cooked lunches. When I was as school some of the disgusting excuses for food was almost inedible. I clearly remember spaghetti pie which consisted of top and bottom layer of shortcrust pastry filled with tinned spaghetti often followed by nearly cold lumpy custard with overcooked prunes or sometimes tapioca (otherwise known as frog spawn). Worst of all was the over salted soup which was thick enough to walk on! Needless to say, I went hungry. Can anyone else remember these lunches as my daughter thinks I'm exaggerating.

SewAddict Wed 04-May-16 17:21:07

I hated the puddings mostly; semolina, tapioca, blancmange and rice pudding with jam. All disgusting! I also hated the mashed potato and could not eat it. I remember being sat in a school hall all afternoon with a plate of it in front of me because I refused to eat it. I won the battle!! I went to many different schools as I was an army child but most had the same disgusting food. sad

rosesarered Wed 04-May-16 17:31:51

I loved all the school meals at primary school, and remember the cheese pie, and the fish pie and the coconut sponge with pink custard.Yum!😀

rosesarered Wed 04-May-16 17:32:51

Pink custard was obviously popular back then.😆

numberplease Wed 04-May-16 17:33:46

After aforementioned incident with the creepy crawlie in the milk, I`ve never touched the stuff since. There were a few of us hated milk, but we had to have a note from home to be excused it, but there was one girl in our class loved milk, and she drank about 7 or 8 bottles every morning! She should have looked very robust, but she was a tiny little thing. Irene Jepson, you wouldn`t happen to be a Gnetter would you?

granjura Wed 04-May-16 17:54:47

What school dinners?

Ana Wed 04-May-16 17:57:28

Surely you've heard of them, granjura, even if you never had them yourself!

Elrel Wed 04-May-16 18:07:12

1946 Changed schools at 6 and met milk warmed by a stove. Tried to drink the horrible stuff but was slow. Got hit around the head for needing a second straw, paper one which flattened easily. Disliked stews and mince, being invited into the kitchen to see the 'lovely meat' before it was cooked didn't help.
1951 Changed schools again at 11, dinners 10d a day. I avoided the milk place until a new friend promised me a (synthetic) cream iced bun if I went with her. What?? I discovered a tuck shop with various high calorie delights and stacks of milk crates in a corner available to those who wanted a bottle, or two. Or not.
1958 College, paid for meals, enjoyed most, especially pork pie with salad which included cold baked beans. On our uniform list was cloth napkin and ring, we kept them in special pigeon holes but no one actually used them.
1960 I began teaching, enjoyed a well cooked school meal each day, as did my Camberwell pupils. Fish, chips and peas on a Friday.
1964 moved to Birmingham, well cooked meals each day, children very keen to have seconds when available.
1980 Big comprehensive very proud of a new cafeteria system with 'choice' for pupils. . I spoke (gently) to an overweight little girl who had on her tray double chips and two doughnuts. She explained that her class was last in that day so there was, at that stage no 'choice'.
Progress??

Elrel Wed 04-May-16 18:12:22

In the '50s the school dinners were perfectly all right, unexciting but we were hungry. I liked rice pudding but not the skin, fine as the others on the table all wanted it. Chocolate concrete was the most popular pudding, even served to us for nostalgia's sake at a 1980s reunion! It still shot across the dining hall as we tried to get into it with our forks!

granjura Wed 04-May-16 18:16:28

well of course Ana- but as you say, I never had any as a child.

Alea Wed 04-May-16 18:19:38

What school dinners?

Then why ask, granjura??

TerriBull Wed 04-May-16 18:29:09

A few delights chipolatas, a lemon cake with fake cream, commonly known as "shaving cream". Some stand out horrors that we were forced to eat, and dare I say until we vomited, these included rice pudding, tapioca, mashed potato all with lumps, still feel haunted by lumpy textures today. I also hated the enforced daily milk that was foisted on us, Margaret Thatcher hadn't done her worst then, so I missed out having my milk snatched unfortunately sad

Juggernaut Wed 04-May-16 18:32:25

michellehargreaves
Our daughter in law is from Wigan, where suet puddings of all types are known as 'babby's heads'!

nannienet Wed 04-May-16 18:47:52

I remember my school dinners well,my Mum was a school dinner lady,preparing and cooking the meals with her team of hard working ladies! Not at my school l would point out. The meals had to be balanced and well thought out each week,all fresh foods,no chicken nuggets!! My favourite was the meat pie and chips,pudding favourite was the Bakewell tart and custard. We had to take turns in being the server to serve up for the 8 kids on a table too. Oh it seems just like yesterday,not 50years ago.

GrandmaMoira Wed 04-May-16 19:19:53

I hated my school dinners. Even my mother agreed that the infant school meals which were brought in from elsewhere were awful. I remember being told "think of the starving children in Africa" and I thought they are welcome to this food.
At Juniors we could not go out to play unless we ate it all so I often missed playtime - lumpy mash, fat and gristle instead of meat, ox liver, tapioca and sago for pudding - all awful.
At the Grammar school it was a little better and you were not forced to eat but I remember the portions being very small for teenage girls.
In the 70s/80s when on the maternity wards the food was as bad as school dinners but during my recent hospital stay, the food was not too bad. Hospital food seemed not bad in other hospitals where I've visited in recent years so I can't agree that it is as bad as school dinners were.

Lilyflower Wed 04-May-16 19:43:21

In my primary school they served a savoury mince dish topped by scones and called it 'American Biscuit'. Though it doesn't sound too good it was lovely. The only things I didn't like were the salads and the tinned Macedoine vegetables. There was a dark, bitter chocolate pie that was to die for.

adnil1949 Wed 04-May-16 19:56:10

I gave up school dinners, and went home and cooked beef burgers and fish fingers.

LuckyFour Wed 04-May-16 20:14:15

We had fantastic school dinners, freshly cooked every day and lovely puddings.
My mum was a school dinner lady and was absolutely dedicated to making sure everyone had tasty, nourishing meals. She went in early to put the joints of meat in the oven then came home and got us off to school, then went back and started on the vegetables. All fresh every day. When she came home she cooked a dinner for me, my dad and my sister. Great Mum.

Maggie725 Wed 04-May-16 20:42:51

I liked some school dinners, but not the salad. One day I put grated carrot into a bag in my pocket. Later that day we were getting changed for swimming lesson. I thought 'what on earth is this in my pocket?' Then I realised and managed to get rid of it.
Before that, at Junior School, when our favourite dinner lady was supervising, she sometimes emptied our plates of what we didn't like, and gave us back the empty plates.

portiatrue Wed 04-May-16 20:46:54

I remember being made to eat rice pudding, which I hated and sitting on my own in the dining hall ( I must have been about 7) until I actually gagged and vomited into the rice! Still can't bear to be in the same room as rice pudding now, some 50 years later....

mcculloch29 Wed 04-May-16 21:43:21

I never had school dinners, lucky me, as I lived within walking distance of all my schools. Mum worked an evening shift as a nurse, so I had my main meal at lunchtime.
I came across a similar discussion somewhere last summer where 'chocolate concrete' was also remembered very fondly. Inspired by this I searched for a recipe on t' Internet and found one, so duly made it, wondering what I'd been missing for some fifty years.

Chocolate concrete turned out to be tooth-rottingly sweet and went in the bin.
I would probably have loved it as a child, though.

Gaggi3 Wed 04-May-16 22:43:22

Home for lunch at Primary school. Secondary school meals pretty grim ( dead fly pie comes to mind), but when I was teaching in a school in the 70's the food was pretty good, and I can remember the cook making something different for a staff member who had been off sick.

Izabella Thu 05-May-16 00:09:13

Stuffed heart. 😝

BBbevan Thu 05-May-16 05:36:17

My Mum did stuffed heart. I think I quite liked it then. But wouldn't now. We also had a lady down the road who made faggots one day a week. My Mum would send me down with a pudding bowl and a think sixpence, and I came back with a steaming , fragrant bowl of faggots in lovely brown gravy.Yumm

Midge Thu 05-May-16 07:16:53

Leslie Grimshaw would eat my lumpy mashed potato and I would eat everyone's lettuce. To this day dislike mash but the puddings were lovely

mcculloch29 Thu 05-May-16 12:49:07

Stuffed heart is lovely, made with tenderly cooked lambs' hearts, and a bacon and onion stuffing in a rich gravy. I bulk cook my own faggots (belly pork, liver, bacon, onions, breadcrumbs, herbs and seasonings in gravy) as it's too much faffing about for anything less than two dozen at a time.

Tip: food process the breadcrumbs last as it cleans all the liver, bacon, belly pork and onion off the processor blades and makes the processor much easier to clean.

I can't imagine stuffed hearts appearing on any school menus now. Most kids would run a mile if they had to eat them.