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hungry?Thanks to Tina Concetta Marzocca.

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simple local vegetables

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Thursday, 23 June 2011

Once upon a time....(1)

 A long time ago, I was young!
This was the period of "rationing" in Britain, and what wasn't almost forbidden by this system was forbidden by the total lack of money in the "family" purse.  This was just following the end of the Second World War, and many things just didn't exist, and others did for a price. The standard amount per person at the period are presented here, looking quite delicious, but remember - this was it - for a week, and even then it was dependant on having the necessary small change to even see that red stuff on the plate! I think the first time I ever saw a beef steak or anything other than very fatty, generally boiled stuff called (at the time) meat was only when I finally departed and went to the Military forces - after rationing! Of course a lot of people in more fortunate positions made this pledge and then forgot about it when they visited a relation or a friend who happened to be a farmer, a grocery shop owner or many other things. My father was "employed" as a Minister of Religion, so my diat for many years was church every day or almost, and 3/4 times on a Sunday! Occasionally this was an event of the better kind, now and then some kind of "party" was going on, with the inevitable church style food, invariably cold sausage rolls (or bits of) together with small, curling at the edges in British Rail style, sandwiches, and.......trifle ..!
At long last something to eat!
Possibly this explains my later fascination with "Cuisine" - it seemed to me to be quite logical that if ever rationing was to come back into mode, then those people responsible for preparing and cooking the foodstuffs would NOT be those who were hungry all the time!
It was really after my introduction to the British Army that I saw just what food was about! Most people complained permanently about Army food, but I was astounded at the choices available for EVERY meal. Breakfast was unknown to me, but was a "Queen's Parade" (meaning attendance obligatory) and consisted of the classic "British breakfast". I had never seen such an arraignment of "goodies" - and this just for breakfast!...It also contained some things totally unknown to myself, which I still make nowadays for a change. Something like "kedgeree" which   was a "hang-over" from old Indian traditions and consists of a sort of mix up of all the stuff left over from the preceeding day - everything - including left overs of cured fish, flaked and all fried up with the old rice, savoured with traditionally heavy doses of Curry powders from Madras and elsewhere. The idea was "no wastage" and if the ingredients came from the last week's left overs it didn't matter - the curry taste made everything have a uniform taste - you couldn't smell the bad odour of last week's fish!
Lunch was equally inviting. At the time, there were always at least 3 different roast meats, with their side dishes of roasted potatoes and (badly) boiled vegetables, various stews and dumpling style things, and of course pies....a British addiction, together with the obvious - inevitable baked beans....Curries and rice would be present, and even if now and then the "iron" rations had to be turned over - those "compo" tins of things from the First world war, well - even they were actually rather good.
Just now and then they would try to pull the wool over our eyes, or can you see the difference between these two offers.....
..and this.....even so, it was all very acceptable for a Minister's son in the early 1960's!
Evening meals were a mixture of left overs and fried or grilled mainly meat, and I swallowed down my old monthly ration amount in around 5 minutes....!

My....there was even a supper menu, if one wished, made up mainly of "cold collages" made famous in the English comedian Spike Milligan's series of books "How I won the War" and "How I defeated Hitler/Mussolini and all the rest"...typical of his humour.. ..Few - if any - who partook of these "cold collages" recovered sufficiently to tell the tale, but - they were popular.....!
Such were the times, and I suppose we should have counted ourselves fortunate to have had anything to eat at's just that I got fed up with my free little bottle of milk being used by others for their cups of see children were useful at the time.
I'll come back to the subject now and then....because in fact, the foodstuff we, as young soldiers, and then later as young adults could buy or eat, actually tasted of something, didn't kill us from e-coli, the eggs and fish filets didn't have little worms in them, and - imagine - RAW salad vegetables could be eaten.....! We ate less and we weren't fat.....we filled our time in with things like sport, which made us hungry, and the vicious circle started again.....

.....Sushi....they tell me still your BEST food for intestinal worms.....!

Bonne Appétit!

iwmpop(mrlemarquis)      -      Vauvert,France      -     Juin 2011

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******* iwmpop (mr le marquis)- Vauvert, France - Janvier 2011