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School Dinners

(94 Posts)
Craftycat Tue 09-Apr-19 13:04:34

I have just made a Gypsy Tart for my DGC who are coming to stay later today.
It made me think of school dinners as I had never tasted this tart before my sons went to Primary school & I got the recipe from the school cook. It was for 80 servings so I had to adapt it.
I lived a 3 minute walk from my primary school so never had to stay for school dinners- my grandparents lived even closer to the school for the days my Mum may have gone out for the day.
I only time I got to stay for school dinners was for 2 weeks in June when Mum & Nan went to Wimbledon for the tennis & were out all day
I thought it was such a treat! I loved the lumpy potatoes, the stodgy jam or syrup puddings & thick custard. Then the bliss of fish & chips on a Friday!! I begged to be allowed to stay for school dinners but with no luck. Most of my friends stayed for dinner so I felt a bit out of it too.
When I went to secondary school I had to stay & the food there was not as good- although it may have been I had just grown up a bit & joined in the dissing of the canteen food but I do remember finding a caterpillar in a salad.
Do you remember your school dinners fondly or not?

BBbevan Tue 09-Apr-19 13:15:25

I always remember my son, in the late 70's , being very excited as Cowboy Hot Pot was on the school dinner menu. A new dinner. How upset and disappointed he was when it turned out to be liver . !!!!

Urmstongran Tue 09-Apr-19 13:23:34

Oh absolutely loved it when the girl’s grammar I attended started serving CHIPS in the late 60’s! We were so excited in the dinner queue!

And my favourite pud was always hot chocolate sponge with ‘pink custard’.

KatyK Tue 09-Apr-19 13:28:42

Chocolate concrete with pink semolina, cornflake and treacle tart. Yum

littleflo Tue 09-Apr-19 13:32:59

I loved school dinners. My mum was not much of a cook so they were a real treat. All of my children came home for lunch throughout their school life.

Jane10 Tue 09-Apr-19 13:34:33

School dinners were to be endured not enjoyed!
What is gypsy tart? Am intrigued.

HootyMcOwlface Tue 09-Apr-19 13:37:37

Oh we had chocolate concrete cake too but with pink custard. Yummy scrummy!

chelseababy Tue 09-Apr-19 13:40:31

I loved them and often had seconds. Also had a cooked meal in the evening but remained skinny. I remember the shiny coloured metal jugs of water.

jusnoneed Tue 09-Apr-19 14:02:10

We had chocolate sponge pud with green mint custard yum. Have never been able to discover a recipe for mint custard like that lol.
Very thin slices of orange in the salad - great novelty as we'd never had fruit in a salad!
Cheesy eggs, hard boiled eggs halved and cheese sauce poured over. Grilled to brown the top. Lovely and I still make them to this day.

GillT57 Tue 09-Apr-19 14:19:17

At my primary school it was compulsory ( I think) to stay for school dinners and the only people allowed to have a packed lunch, eaten in the hall with everyone else, was a Jewish brother and sister who presumably had kosher food although nobody asked or was bothered. We sat at large tables, and it was a nice communal experience. The food wasnt always great, but it was edible, and the puddings with chocolate or pink custard were fab. Oh, the excitement as the whisper went along the queue that there were chips!

Day6 Tue 09-Apr-19 14:28:01

I liked school dinners. We had ours in what looked like a nissen hut in the grounds of our Victorian primary school. It had a huge black metal wood burning fire situated in the centre of it, with railings around it so much of the hut was very draughty. We sat at tables of eight and the dinner ladies plonked tin trays of food at the head of the table for the monitor to dish up. All portion sizes had been marked but I often felt I got the smallest bit of any yummy pudding. grin

We had Manchester tart and custard with raspberry jam on the bottom and coconut on top. and that was always my favourite. I must buy one or make one soon! I remember the multi coloured metal beakers too and the jugs of water.

NannyJan53 Tue 09-Apr-19 14:53:54

I remember chocolate shortbread, with green (mint flavoured) custard!

Callistemon Tue 09-Apr-19 15:02:46

I don't remember ever having chips - it was always lumpy mashed potatoes or, when there was a potato shortage one year, we had dry white bread with our dinner.

shysal Tue 09-Apr-19 15:06:13

I can still remember the nightmares I used to have after being forced to eat gristly mince at my first school, a small private one. Their food was disgusting!

Grammar school was a different matter, I loved the food. At one time I shared an 8-seater table with the only 4 vegetarians out of 300 pupils (how times have changed!), and 3 non-vegetarians, therefore having a choice from two different 8-serving metal dishes and plenty of second helpings which the other tables didn't have. No self service in those days. I remember we had chips on a Friday, sauteed potatoes on another, and various sponge puddings several times a week. Despite this I was always skinny!

I also loved my 1/3 pint of milk at break time, but not when it had been left to stand in the sun. In winter the foil cap was pushed up by the frozen milk.

TerriBull Tue 09-Apr-19 15:33:20

I have very bad memories of school dinners, they were compulsory as was the school milk, I could have done with MT, "The Milk Snatcher" when I was at school, I hate neat milk, I always have done.

I wasn't a faddy eater, I never had any problems at home, school gave me a lump phobia, mashed potato, custard and worst of all the rice pudding which seemed to have lumps the size of small planets just reduced lunch times to misery. I can remember being forced to eat unpalatable foods and retching. I vowed then, if I were to have children, I wouldn't want them to undergo what I and others were putting up with. Having to ingest something under duress is an abuse of human rights shock I know I thought that then, even though I probably couldn't articulate such a concept.

Fennel Tue 09-Apr-19 15:35:12

I started having school dinners in the 1940s.There were still food shortages and the meals were quite basic.
I remember one - leek pudding. Leeks in suet crust. I think we had some kind of gravy with it.
Lots of mashed potatoes, and beetroot with the juice making the potatoes pink. I can't remember having meat, but must have had fish as that was local.
Puddings were mostly milk -rice, sago, tapioca etc. With rad jam. Maybe an apple.
I've got a photo from the local paper of me as server doling out the food.

Maggiemaybe Tue 09-Apr-19 15:36:08

I really enjoyed my school dinners, apart from any fatty meat and liver, both of which I hate to this day. I was just regaling my little DGS yesterday with my tale of the day I sat in solitary splendour in the school hall till home time, after the cleaning had gone on around me, because the headmistress told me that I’d sit there till I ate that liver... grin

DGS said I should have chosen the panini option. Oh how times have changed!

Fennel Tue 09-Apr-19 15:36:30

And I forgot - the famous spotted dick smile - a sweet suet pudding.

M0nica Tue 09-Apr-19 15:53:25

Terribull our experiences and dislikes were so similar.

I too developed lump phobia. Especially mashed potato, made from powdered potato and fully of tiny lumps - I cannot eat mash potato to this day. There was the same problem with custard and for the same reasons, and the skin on custard and the pink blancmange, which we were made to eat.

As for the free milk. I hated milk from the time I stopped having a bottle and never drank it. I was at boarding school and I would be kept sitting at the tea table for hours because I would not drink the gently heated milk.

tinaf1 Tue 09-Apr-19 15:57:12

I can remember in infants/ junior school being made to eat onions ( I really couldn’t eat them still can’t) by a school dinner lady. She stood over me until I had finished them and then said there you are you were just being naughty!
At which point I threw up all over her suffice to say never had fond memories of school dinners.
I used to like going home to my nan’s she usually treated me to pie & mash a couple of times a week
What is gypsy tart

EllanVannin Tue 09-Apr-19 15:57:18

Manchester tart at school was delicious as was the Bakewell tart.

EllanVannin Tue 09-Apr-19 16:00:25

I remember having great meals in the 50.'s at school the only grouse being that the cabbage wasn't chopped in pepper and butter like mum's.

LullyDully Tue 09-Apr-19 16:33:12

We had suet in its many forms....meat, jam rolly polly, apple, spotted dick, treacle, surely that wasn't all. As I remember all the above also made into tarts.

Then custard, semolina and rice pudding in a variety of colours. No wonder we put on weight. As I got into the 5/ 6th form I changed to a packed lunch which helped somewhat.

midgey Tue 09-Apr-19 16:54:03

Chocolate slosh with warm syrup! Delicious! I think it was chocolate semolina.

Grannybags Tue 09-Apr-19 16:57:55

At primary school I was forced to eat horrible lunch and spent most lunch times crying over cold lumpy food. I wasn't allowed from the table until the bell had gone for afternoon lessons, having missed all of play time.

However the one thing I loved was Gypsy Tart! Have no idea what it was made from and have never had it since.