Saturday, 29 January 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Wk 5 - Favourite Food

Week #5 – Favourite Food
What was your favourite food from childhood? If it was home made, who made it? What was in the dish and why was it your favourite? What is your favourite dish now?
Week 5: This challenge runs from Saturday, January 29, 2011 through Friday, February 4, 2011.

My Grandmother, Lilian Edith Butcher nee Matthews was a good cook. Not fancy food, simply, nutritious meals that involved, not too much fuss. My grandfather had always been, because of work an early riser and like many of my Grandparents generation they ate their main meal at about noon and called this dinner. When my Grandfather worked at Unigate Diaries he would take a lunch box for his morning break and then cycle home for his main meal at lunchtime. At tea time there was bread and butter or sandwiches and cake. After my Grandfather retired and then later passed away this remained the same and it was only when I started working that lunch was simply a sandwich or alike and dinner was in the evening. Having said that, perhaps this is a geographical issue? Stuart from the North of England calls lunch dinner and his evening meal tea, and even now we sometimes have to have some clarity on what meal is being referred to!

Here are a few recipes that I can with my Mum's help remember my Grandmother cooking.

Rasher Pudding

  • Mix plain flour and suet together, using water or milk to bind it together.
  • Roll out on a floured board.
  • Lay the rashers of bacon across and add some chopped fresh parsley.
  • Roll it up and put in a pudding cloth and place in a pan of boiling water and cook.

Mum has said the cloth would be horrid when taken out of the pan, and remembers being given the job of washing the cloth! and suggests using a more modern steamer would better and safer!

Lambs Hearts

  • Buy Lambs Hearts and stuff them with sage and onion stuffing.
  • wrap in tin foil and place in a baking dish
Serve with potatoes and vegetables

Cheese and Tomato
A very simple dish and one that I often make during the summer and serve with new potatoes and salad. I sometimes make some amendments and add bacon and mushrooms!
  • Quite simply cut cheese into slices and layer with layers of tomato into a dish
  • Place in the oven and cook for about 15 mins until the cheese has melted slightly

I remember the smell of baking potatoes in the oven for a tea on Saturday night. I would sit and watch my Grandmother grate piles of mature cheddar to be added to the potato. The smell of the potato was lovely and even now there is nothing like a jacket potato cooked in the oven. That was probably my favourite food as a child and remains so into adulthood.

On Saturday's if we had my Great Aunts visiting we would have sandwiches and cakes. Some dainty little bread rolls from a bakery in Guildford. Cake would be usually from Marks and Spencers. By coincidence I was in the food hall of M & S today and had a look a the cake counter. None of the sponges that I recall from childhood were there, which is a great shame. Shopping for food in M & S was considered a treat and reserved for the weekends and holidays. I wonder what my Grandmother would have made of my buying some basic groceries from there today, which I do say is not the usual for me!


  1. The cheese and tomatoes look delicious - simple but brilliant. I'm going to have to try that one.

  2. I don't think the concept of having the main meal of the day at noon or 1pm is geographical - it think it is more generational.

    My great-grandparents did this and most farm families did as well - a big breakfast then men go off to the fields. Dinner at 1pm and then men go off to the fields again. Smaller "supper" of tea and sandwiches with leftover meats from lunch.

    When my great-grandfather retired from farming and started working as a timekeeper for the construction of New York City reservoirs, he worked swing shift. So the 1pm dinner was perfect and Grandma and the grandchildren had supper at 6pm.

  3. I agree that it probably is more generational. What I meant about geographical was the reference to meals. It is 7pm here in the UK and being from the South dinner is in the oven, but my husband from the north thinks Tea's in the oven -when hubbu asks what's for tea I always say milk and sugar or tea comes in a cup! Even after 17 years he still falls into asking the question!!


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