Back to Inbox ~ Home Page ~ Newspapers ~ "other news today"

How true Rons true observations and accounts are.

We never raised animals when I was growing up. There was also no such thing as a fridge. My grandfather grew all his own fruit and vegetables and these were kept and preserved in the shed. They would be eaten throughout the course of the year. My Gran would buy a chicken for Sunday lunch from someone who kept them on his allotment and we would be eating the remains through most of the week in various forms. Stews, as they were called then. The word casserole had not been invented. If it had it had not found its way to Derby.

Pies, and whatever else you could make with chicken, flour, water and vegatebles. I, like Ron, do not ever remember being ill. If you bought a piece of cheese it sat on a slab in the pantry. Mould was hardly ever present - did cheese last longer then? Bread lasted ages all homebaked and without preservative.

I can remember Chrismas time when a large ham was cooked. Im sure it lasted into the New Year. There was no such thing as sell by or best by dates. You just did not waste food then. My Gran was a stickler for that.

I can remember going to the local butcher and getting ham sliced off the bone for 'pack up'. The ham was fetched from the cold room sliced by hand on a slab and then returned back to the store.

I would come home from school in the Winter and Mum would have cooked a meal. We never had snacks. Always meat and vegetables. I wonder how many children know the pleasure of that these days, and my Mum worked. So it was not a case of 'she was home all day'.

Food was fresher then I am convinced of it. It was also cooked properly. People knew how to cook then. You had no choice if you wanted to eat. A friend told me once that they never ate a meal unless it was out of the chill cabinet in Marks and Spencers. How can anyone bring up 2 children like that?

They might not have been the fast moving days of to day - and there certainly was not the variety we have now. But the one thing that cooking a meal did do - was to bring us all together round the meal table in the evening. Something I think that is sadly lacking today. Perhaps in our search for a more fuller life we have lost some of the family values and traditions along the way. Plus we keep getting told that meat is not good for us. I remember getting the catologue for an auction once - there were some 145 carving knives - several of them electric. It would seem to these ex owners that the message had hit home.r Or perhaps boil in the bag and 'heat and eat', is less traumatic than carving a joint.