We’ve talked about shops and shopping, which covered where to buy food from, but this week it’s about the food we eat. This is going to take a bit of memory digging to remember what we used to eat as kids, but as with all my blogs, once I start writing, the memories come flooding back.
Monday night was a roast night. Roast mutton, pumpkin, potatoes and beans or peas. These would often be from Dad’s vegetable garden and the meat was always one of the farm sheep that Dad would call his killer’s. The chopping block was under the gum trees down near the sheds. I used to go down and watch him kill the sheep, but couldn’t stomach that now.
Dessert would be either sago, creamed rice with sultanas, custard and jelly or bread and butter pudding. Friday nights was either frankfurts or curried tuna. I can always remember Sunday lunch. We would go to mass at the Ogilvie Hall. Monsignor O’Conner would come out and say mass. There would be most of our rellies there, the Johnson’s, Drages, other Cripps families, Horan’s and many other people who lived in the district. We would get home in time for lunch of cold meat and salad, mashed potato with cut up onion and homemade jelly and icecream.
Breakfast was either weet bix, porridge (not the instant kind) or tinned spaghetti on toast with homemade butter. I was never a fan of tinned baked beans, but I’m sure the boys had them a lot. Shall I tell you what they called them? Why not! Fart pellets!!! Yep, they did.
I can still see mum at the cement trough in the laundry, using the separator to separate the cream from the milk that dad had just brought in after milking the cow and making her own butter. Wow! Now that’s a flashback to the old house that we moved out of when I was 10!
One of my earliest memories of trying to do some cooking was after school when Mum and Dad had gone to Geraldton for the day and I was home alone. I was a teenager by now and my brothers were around the place somewhere, so I decided to try my hand at cooking some cupcakes. I’d been having cooking classes at school so I thought I would surprise Mum. I’ve added an image off Google to show exactly what they were supposed to look like…
Well, I got the mixer working ok, everything was perfect and the mixture made a nice tray full of cupcakes or paddy cakes as some call them. Until that is, I went to put them in the oven. Of course, I wasn’t that tall, being a kid and all, but I managed to tip the tray too far forward and over went the raw cupcake mixer, all over the oven racks and down the cracks of the oven door. What a mess! Or course, Mum happened to come home just about then. I still remember her saying, “Can’t you ever do anything right?” Guess not! From then on I was never allowed to help in the kitchen so my only cooking adventures were when I was at boarding school and did home science as one of my junior subjects. Luckily I was able to cook a little bit when we first got married. It wasn’t just boiled water and burnt toast!! I still dislike cooking to this day but have been known to cook a few cakes in my time and we haven’t starved. Hah! Maybe that’s why my kids have never put on weight, they were probably half-starved!
Mum, however, could cook up a storm. She could make the perfect swiss roll, sponge cakes and pretty well anything she put her hand to.
As time has gone on, all our 3 children are good cooks. In fact, Peter our son, is a chef by trade, although he doesn’t work as a chef just now. They certainly didn’t get their culinary talents from their mother!
Nowadays I still use the K.I.S.S. method. Steak and veg, Chops and veg, roast (still and all time favourite), chicken stir fry, crumbed chicken (in almond meal! yum!) the occasional stew, curry and shepherd’s pie in the winter, soups and of course spaghetti bol. Where would be we without the good ol’ spag bol!
So, if you ever see me in the kitchen cooking, you’d better watch out. It’s not a place I hang about in very often.