Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Still on the subject of food.

In my post yesterday Derek asked whether or not I thought people still ate the 'traditional Sunday roast'.

I think to some extent it is dying out as we get access on television and in restaurants to various continental menus; and of course the variety of foods available in the shops and in markets has widened considerably.

But there is another thing to take into consideration.   Our parents didn't have the money that we have today (I am speaking here for myself, but suspect it also applies to many of my readers.   We always had a traditional roast - rotated beef, pork, lamb and maybe chicken for special occasions.   We had a large joint which was served hot on Sunday with all the usual additions (including Yorkshire Puddings), then on Monday (wash day) my mother would serve the meat cold with pickles and with bubble and squeak (fried up left over veggies from Sunday) and usually the left over apple pie and custard from Sunday too.   Then on Tuesday any remaining left over meat would be minced up with onions - and maybe carrots if the meat was getting scarce- and made into a cottage pie (beef) or a shepherd's pie (lamb) and served with lots of vegetables to eke out the shortage of meat.   This made the roast go a long way and was an economical way of housekeeping.   And I must say that shepherd's pie does not taste the same made with lamb mince that has not been roasted first as a joint.

I try not to waste food but I do waste some now and again;  I don't remember my mother ever wasting any.   Left over bread meant bread and butter pudding - and jolly good it was too.

When I saw those tragic children driven from their villages by Boko Haram in Nigeria the other day - and saw them literally dying of starvation - I must say it made me realise how we take three good square meals a day totally foregranted.

18 comments:

Derek Faulkner said...

I'll answer your very last statement first Pat and slightly alter it to "how we take food waste for granted". We waste millions of tons of food each year and think little of it, especially by taking to much notice of the "eat by" dates.
As for the rest of your posting, I agree entirely with what you said, Sunday roast was a way of feeding the whole family on Sunday and for several days after. Today however, there are huge entertainment choices that tempt you to be out and about instead of being tied to a guaranteed dinner time. Also by going out to Sunday Roast, as indeed is fashionable now, it also means that the chef of the house doesn't have to labour indoors all morning and is treated equally.

Frances said...

Dear Weaver, although I grew up in Virginia, in the post-war 1940s and 50s, our family's Sunday lunch and subsequent workweek evening meals followed a pattern very similar to what you describe. We certainly did not waste food, and rarely visited restaurants on any day of the week. The meals were delicious!

I think that one of my brothers and I have inherited that aversion to being wasteful. Even now, we trade ideas with each other about ways to use various leftovers in interesting ways. xo

Rachel said...

We had Spam and baked beans the other night. And it was delicious.

Joanne Noragon said...

We forget why we should be mindful, our children and grandchildren are oblivious. I spoke to Ruth the other day, my daughter's wonderful mother in law, who was slave labor on a German farm. She went with her son to retrieve our grandson from camp recently. She slept on a cot in a tent. "It was wonderful," she told me, "like sleeping under the wagons when I was little girl." It took me some time to connect sleeping under wagons to the forced march from Lithuania. History.

Sue said...

My gran would always serve Poor Man's Goose on a Monday. It was a baked dish comprising layered meat from the Sunday roast, potatoes, onions and gravy. I loved it.

Terra Hangen said...

I love the old menu you describe, and the shepherds or cottage pies. We do eat differently now, including salmon and rock cod.

Mary said...

Growing up in post-war Britain we had very little money but my mum ALWAYS put good, nutritious food first! She said good health could only be acquired by eating fresh, natural, locally grown food whilst we were youngsters - along with our milk, OJ and cod liver oil! Loved bubble & squeak, cottage pies, all the boiled veggies, toad in the hole (although perhaps that one was not exactly nutritious!) and such - the tripe and onions, and blood pudding were not my favorites though!
Fortunately we lived opposite a small market garden and always had access to fab just-picked veggies.

Anyone remember drizzling Lyle's Golden Syrup over leftover Yorkshire pudding for dessert? Yummy!

Mary -

Hard up Hester said...

I still do a roast dinner most Sundays and use up the rest of the meat throughout the week, I sometimes still make rissoles if there isn't enough meat to make shepherds pie.
Mary, yes I do remember that, it was yummy, you are right.

Derek Faulkner said...

I certainly remember the suet pudding for "afters", with syrup, jam, or condensed milk, basically anything sweet, but I hated bubble and squeak or anything that involved onions or greens.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

We have a roast every Sunday evening. Last Sunday there was quite a lot of beef left so I used it to make lunchtime sandwiches on Monday and a beef and mushroom pie for the evening. None of that Mediterranean foreign muck.

Heather said...

We seldom have a Sunday roast as there are just the two of us and a joint of meat worth cooking would be far too much for us. My mother always had a large joint and made it last most of the week so it worked out to be fairly economical. I think it is wicked to waste food when so many people in the world are starving. I rarely have to use the food waste bin provided by the council and try not to overstock the fridge and freezer.

Terry and Linda said...

We always had fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy. Not so anymore. Just the two of us.

Linda

Mac n' Janet said...

It is hard to picture people starving when we probably have too much food. I try to cook lighter meals in the summer, lots of salads, and not have too much waste. It's hard cooking for just 2 people.

Jocelyn Thurston said...

Growing up in Newfoundland, Canada, we always had a cooked dinner for Sundays...a chicken one week, a roast beef the next with all the vegetables boiled with salt meat. Mondays dinner was hash made from the leftover vegetables-your bubble and squeak I think. I still think I should cook something a little more special on Sundays though it is not the same for many. I loved reading your post and all the comments. Interesting!

Cro Magnon said...

The only Sunday (or any other day) roast we never have is Beef; it simply isn't sold here as a large roasting joint. My favourite has to be a leg of lamb; I adore Lamb. We eat it often, mostly with guests.

Librarian said...

I waste very little food, starting with not buying more than I will be most likely be able to consume. Whenever I do have to throw something out (which happens very rarely), I feel that I am committing a sin.
As a (mostly) single household, I cook only when I have guests or when something needs using up (so as to not throw it away).
My Mum is an excellent cook, and my Dad loves cooking, too; they used to treat us to fantastic meals on weekends when they both had time to spend in the kitchen together.
We also loved the leftovers eaten for the first half of the week.
I still enjoy going to my parents' for lunch on those days when I am working from home, usually Mondays; it's the best food I get all week, always genuine and, more often than not, home-grown from the allotment.

The Weaver of Grass said...

We all seem to remember with affection those post war meals when all the variations from abroad were unheard of and mostly we ate home grown stuff. Thanks for all the reminders.

Midmarsh John said...

Ah yes, mother always cooked a roast on Sunday and cold meat with bubble and squeak on Mondays.
For a while we lodged with my paternal grandparents. We had to eat Sunday dinner in silence as granddad always had the Billy Cotton Band Show on and nothing was allowed to interfere with listening to that.

A cheap weekday meal was often pigeon.