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Food then and now

(116 Posts)
Antonia Mon 09-Aug-21 10:54:54

When I was a child, food was definitely less varied. We ate sausages, shepherd's pie, basic salad with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber, with a tin of John West salmon. The only dressing was salad cream.
Friday was always fish and chips, and we ate lots of Vesta meals - I remember their chicken curry very well. An actual chicken was a treat, reserved for Christmas, unless you were 'posh' like one of our neighbours, and had a turkey.

Vegetables were always potatoes (no pasta back then), cabbage, cauliflower, carrots and peas.

Among the desserts were rice pudding, lemon meringue pie made from a packet and jam sponge with Birds custard.

We have so much choice today and there is so much emphasis on 'healthy eating' that didn't exist when I was young. The only thing I remember is 'eat up your cabbage, it's good for you.' Plus the annoying 'eat it up - think of the poor starving children in Africa.' I always wanted, but never dared, to point out that whether I ate it or not, it wouldn't affect the starving children anywhere.

I used to spend at least some of my pocket money on 'pick n' mix' from Woolworths, and I'm sure children used to eat far more sweets than they do today. Some of my favourites were Spangles, Rowntrees fruit pastels, wagon wheels, coconut mushrooms, love hearts and jelly babies.

Other snacks were biscuits and crisps. They were plain, and came with the tiny blue twists of salt that you shook over them. I vaguely remember cheese n' onion flavour being a real novelty.

Amazingly, I wasn't overweight in those days. I seem to eat far less today and yet I still can't shift the pounds.grin

What are your memories of food in the past?

GagaJo Tue 10-Aug-21 18:08:36

My mum was ahead of her time. She and my dad went on their honeymoon to Barcelona way before package holidays.

Growing up I ate curries, paella, goulash, spaghetti (the long stuff in blue paper). She cooked with olive oil, that had to be bought from the chemists back then. My dad would go shooting and so we also ate a lot of game.

Despite sounding very wealthy and middle class, we were actually v poor, hence the shooting. Think dad was more poacher than lord of the manor.

Nannynoodles Tue 10-Aug-21 18:11:49

This is bringing back so many memories!
Does anyone remember Sweetheart Dessert from the 70’s? It came in a tin and you mixed it with the same amount of milk - think it was Strawberry or Orange.
I once served it up to a boyfriend after a Vesta Prawn Curry thinking I was very sophisticated (think we had Liebfraumilch too!!).

Callistemon Tue 10-Aug-21 18:13:40

Heinz tomato soup'
pork pies
soft cod's roe, fried and served on toast

I dislike those three things till today, *Dinahmo, and broad beans.
I also used to buy scrag end of neck of lamb from Harrods
That sounds so posh but not posh iyswim ???

Heinz spaghetti on toast -carbohydrate on carbohydrate

Nannynoodles Tue 10-Aug-21 18:14:44

Whoops Kevin! We overlapped re Sweetheart!

Callistemon Tue 10-Aug-21 18:15:32

My mother made curries with leftover roast meat but I never ate Spaghetti Bolognaise until I was 18 at a friend's house (she cooked it, her parents were away).

Alioop Tue 10-Aug-21 18:33:19

kevincharley I loved Nestle Sweetheart! My aunt got me started on it, I loved the pear flavour too.

Elvis58 Tue 10-Aug-21 19:06:58

Hunters individual meat puddings.
Lot of meat and two veg.
Tomato sauce sarnies.
Boiled egg salad.
Brawn sarnies.
Banana sarnies.
Liver and onions.
Winkles and bread and butter.
Green lime ice lollies.
Black jacks that made your tongue black.Coconut tobacco, jubblies a d jamboree bags with a soft toffee in them.

Callistemon Tue 10-Aug-21 20:08:43


kevincharley I loved Nestle Sweetheart! My aunt got me started on it, I loved the pear flavour too.

I've never heard of it.
I must have had a deprived childhood

Fray Bentos meat pies; we still ate those when we were first married.

Happysexagenarian Tue 10-Aug-21 21:35:53

Always a roast dinner on Sundays even in the height of summer. It would be chicken, lamb or pork, beef was too expensive.
Leftovers on Mondays.
Egg and chips, always homemade chips never from the chippy.
Homemade porridge for breakfast with golden syrup, or toast & marmalade, or boiled eggs.
Fish every Friday, sometimes Plaice or fish fingers. Again homemade chips.
Knife & Fork stew, usually best end of neck lamb with dumplings.
Lemon meringue pie from a packet mix.
Homemade apple pie (mum's speciality) with cream
Rice pudding and jam.
Bananas & custard, still one of my favourites.
Steak & kidney pudding with suet pastry.
Pork sausages (Richmond or Palethorps) with mash and peas.
Homemade rice pudding with a sweet creamy skin on top.
Homemade custard tart with nutmeg on it - mmm!
We only ever ate salad in the summer, nothing fancy, just lettuce, cucumber, radishes, spring onions and beetroot, usually with tinned red Salmon.
Homemade trifle at Christmas or if we had visitors.
Dinners were always accompanied by a plate of bread and butter, probably to make up for the small portions.
We ate foods when they were in season so always looked forward to strawberries, runner beans, peas, peaches, melon and pomegranates when they appeared in the shops.
We never had rice, pasta, curry or anything spicy, Mum was suspicious of 'foreign' foods. It was always good plain English (or Welsh) food but well cooked.

I have not inherited her talent for good cooking !

tictacnana Tue 10-Aug-21 22:04:36

We had a shop that included a butchery section. We had meat everyday except Friday when we had fish. I’ve been a vegetarian for many years now but I have vivid memories of eating liver and the disgusting cow heel pie which always made me want to leave home. We never ate packet or processed food even though we sold it in the shop. When yoghurts first came into shops we tried some for pudding and had them snatched away by Mum who declared that she wasn’t going to feed her kids on sour milk. Flavoured yoghurts weren’t then available . After tea, on Sundays, ( following a huge Sunday roast lunch) we had trifle and tinned pears and cream with which we had to eat triangles of bread and butter. One odd thing about Sunday lunch was putting sugar and butter on Yorkshire puddings while they were surrounded by the meat, veg and gravy. I never met anyone else who did this. We also had crackers with Lancashire cheese and strawberry jam which I think is quite unusual. I think our diet was fairly varied ,as my Mum was a trained cook ,but not nearly as varied as today and we were never asked what we wanted for tea. We just got meals put in front of us and that was that.

Gabrielle56 Wed 11-Aug-21 10:42:52

Liver and onions with mash and sprouts! Still love it still make it! Hotpot made with stewing steak with spuds carrots and gravy thickened with bisto! All done in mums pressure cooker as were a lot of dishes.i used to have one upto sons being teens then got rid. Remember nagging mum for Nutella in 60s after having it in France in exchange holiday.she said no "you won't eat it and I'll end up throwing it away" ..........I still have Nutella most 65! Ski yoghurts always were with hazelnuts and sultanas WHY?!?!? Snacks? Barrett's sherbert fountains 4a penny chews fruit salad black jax tootie frooties. Loads of sweets but, having a dad with just perfect film star teeth, always brushed and looked after my teeth and still have all bar one and they are so good folks sometimes thing they're falsies!? I was slender all my life up to having hysterectomy in 2006 now I'm a mahoosive old bird and I cannot get used to it! Fruit and veg were an everyday event and old fashioned plain meals kept us full up!

Celeste22 Wed 11-Aug-21 11:38:39

Antonia. I could have written your first paragraph ?

BelindaB Wed 11-Aug-21 14:53:49

First distinct food memorie was eating beetroot salad on a saturday evening, whilst listening to Archie Andrews on the this day, I cannot abide the taste. The worst thing in the world was to show my mum you enjoyed anything - you'd get it morning, noon and night until you wanted to gag.

Second was eating sticks of rhubarb, dipped in a screw of blue paper which held part of my nan's sugar ration...wonderful! Nanna was an amazing cook - my mum, not so much. I loved brown bread but we were never bought any. Once she discovered curry powder...voila! It covered a multitude of her cooking sins and everything, from then on, was curried.

Nan taught me to make soups (I still do), cakes, pies and pastries, biscuits as well. I still get praise for my shortcrust pastry and always think of my nan when I do!

I cannot remember anything "fancy" and didn't even taste mushrooms until I arrived in London in the early 60's.

spottysocks Mon 16-Aug-21 16:20:21

Dinahmo I still make rice pudding with evap. It's yummy!

My mum was a good home cook and made pies and puddings that I still make today.

Heinz tinned Chocolate or mixed fruit sponge pudding you had to simmer in a saucepan of water to cook before opening it, Oh how I loved those! smile

Condensed milk
Sterilized milk in a glass bottle Yuk!

Blossoming Mon 16-Aug-21 16:28:16

Heinz tomato soup is my comfort food!