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What we ate.


tozzin
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Well where can I start, money being tight when I was a child the food we ate gave an indication of the times, my Dad would buy a sheep’s brain and make his own Brawn, by prolonged boiling it, the brain was rendered down to a jelly, which he left to go cold and ultimately sliced and eaten whichever way he fancied, I couldn’t face it though, Chicklin and Bag was popular too, it consisted  of what looked like veins and other bits from the inside of animals, I saw some a few years ago and I can’t believe I ate it so long ago, fresh rabbits, chickens were always on the menu as my dad kept them on the back garden.

One instance my older sister told me about was when the rabbits had a litter of young and my sister Eileen loved them and she asked Dad if she could look after one, he gave her the nod, every morning before school she’d nip up the garden to see her pet and after school she did the same, this went on for around a year until one Sunday morning she went to look at her charge and she couldn’t find him, she was distraught, told my Dad he’d escaped and would he look for him, this he did. At the dinner table we sat down to dinner and we had rabbit, Eileen quizzed Dad , did you find him, where do you think he’s gone etc this was getting on my brother’s nerves, now he had no thought for anybody’s feelings only his own, “ I known where’s he’s gone” he said and Eileen’s eyes lit up “ where is he, where is he?” you’re eating him, she ran outside crying and wouldn’t touch rabbit for a year, it was obvious to my older sisters and brother what had happened, Dad had killed it on Saturday evening after Eileen had gone to bed, but as Dad said he was bred for the table and that’s where he ended up.

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We ate what we were given.

The rabbit story is like mine - I had a pet rabbit called Snowy until one day we had rabbit stew. At 4 yrs old I didn't realise as I was told Snowy had escaped. Strange thing is, I recall missing him, going to the rabbit hutch and him not being there and I recall my dad laughing when my mother wouldn't eat that rabbit stew but I didn't find out until I was in my 20s what exactly had happened to Snowy.  

I was made to eat all veg especially cabbage which I hated and if I refused, my mum had to save the water it was boiled in and my dad made me go in the kitchen to drink it. Luckily he didn't follow us in as my sister drank it for me. 

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2 hours ago, Lyn 1 said:

We ate what we were given.

The rabbit story is like mine - I had a pet rabbit called Snowy until one day we had rabbit stew. At 4 yrs old I didn't realise as I was told Snowy had escaped. Strange thing is, I recall missing him, going to the rabbit hutch and him not being there and I recall my dad laughing when my mother wouldn't eat that rabbit stew but I didn't find out until I was in my 20s what exactly had happened to Snowy.  

I was made to eat all veg especially cabbage which I hated and if I refused, my mum had to save the water it was boiled in and my dad made me go in the kitchen to drink it. Luckily he didn't follow us in as my sister drank it for me. 

The drinking of cabbage water is what we also did, potato water was used as a base for gravy, I think I was the only boy at school that always asked for seconds when cabbage was on the menu, I loved it and still do.

Being a catholic family Friday was always a fish day, around once a month a Saturday tea we had mussels, I went with my mother to the fish market for a couple of Stone of them, a big weight but when boiled and de-shelled there was just enough for us all, seven of us in the family. Happy days.

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20 hours ago, tozzin said:

, Chicklin and Bag was popular too, it consisted  of what looked like veins and other bits from the inside of animals,

I'm guessing that "chicklin" is what Americans, especially those from the Southern states, call "chitlins" or "chitterlings". Not sure about the "bag" though.

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Wasn't chitterlings and bag the cow's stomach? The bag being the outer casing perhaps.

Dad would always grumble about his pack up. Especially on the days mum supposedly packed him up liver sausage. This conversation was often repeated on a weekly basis.

'What were that tha' packed up today?'

'Liver sausage, why, what wer up wi' it?' questioned mum always on the defensive.

'D'in't bloody taste like it. More like potted dog.'

Occasionally she would pack liver sausage up for him just to keep up the pretence that it was the shop getting it wrong.

Potted 'dog' (meat) and 'pink lint' were cheap sandwich fillers. (Luncheon meat). There was a rhyme we used to recite that went like this.

'Little dog, busy street,

Motor bus, potted meat.'

 

 

  

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31 minutes ago, Lyn 1 said:

 

Dad would always grumble about his pack up.

 

 

 

  

I've never heard it called that before, though it's obvious what it means.

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9 minutes ago, Athy said:

I've never heard it called that before, though it's obvious what it means.

You’ve lived a sheltered life if you’ve never heard of pack up, my dad took a mashing of tea screwed up in newspaper, it consisted of tea, sugar and condensed milk, the tea and sugar covered the milk so it didn’t stick to the paper. Happy days.

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46 minutes ago, Lyn 1 said:

Wasn't chitterlings and bag the cow's stomach? The bag being the outer casing perhaps.

Dad would always grumble about his pack up. Especially on the days mum supposedly packed him up liver sausage. This conversation was often repeated on a weekly basis.

'What were that tha' packed up today?'

'Liver sausage, why, what wer up wi' it?' questioned mum always on the defensive.

'D'in't bloody taste like it. More like potted dog.'

Occasionally she would pack liver sausage up for him just to keep up the pretence that it was the shop getting it wrong.

Potted 'dog' (meat) and 'pink lint' were cheap sandwich fillers. (Luncheon meat). There was a rhyme we used to recite that went like this.

'Little dog, busy street,

Motor bus, potted meat.'

 

 

  

That’s right Lynn cows stomach, God knows what the bag was but it just looked like thick wrinkled skin but it wasn’t skin.

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2 hours ago, tozzin said:

You’ve lived a sheltered life if you’ve never heard of pack up, my dad took a mashing of tea screwed up in newspaper, it consisted of tea, sugar and condensed milk, the tea and sugar covered the milk so it didn’t stick to the paper. Happy days.

Mum went out to work when I was 11 yrs old so holidays for me was looking after 2 younger sisters aged 7 & 4. Dad worked shifts in the steelworks so I had to do his packup and the mashing tea stuff as well as cook his meal either prior to him going to work or coming off morning shifts at 2pm. I was never taught to cook so I got into bother quite a lot.  

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I once knew a gent who would boil frozen sausages in a saucepan, then drain the water off into a mug with a tea bag, and instead of milk he would crumble a custard bun into the sausage/tea slurry. Quite revolting.

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6 minutes ago, LeadFarmer said:

I once knew a gent who would boil frozen sausages in a saucepan, then drain the water off into a mug with a tea bag, and instead of milk he would crumble a custard bun into the sausage/tea slurry. Quite revolting.

I worked with a bloke like that he loved brown sauce on Apple Pie and also on Kit Kats.

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On 09/07/2021 at 11:22, tozzin said:

You’ve lived a sheltered life if you’ve never heard of pack up,

My Dad was a schoolmaster (at Woodhouse Grammar) so he got a dinner at school and didn't need to take food to work with him. I sometimes had a school dinner (at Gleadless County) and sometimes went home for dinner. So the expression just never occurred in our house because no one needed a pack-up.

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I lived with my grandparents until we got our own home when I was 10. Grandad was an engine driver and he frequently went to Grimsby where he would go to fish docks and buy a parcel which would be placed in a bucket of cold water on the footplate and brought home. I ate skate, conger eel, lots of herring which was ‘. soused “ by G ranny. ( no idea how).

Healso went to ,Leicester where he brought home very soft  Walls ice cream which was virtually unobtainable at time in S heffield.

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My Dad liked tinned salmon but it was treat usually once a month or so, but this itself brought a bit of a problem , before stainless steel cutlery was widely available the cutlery was usually chrome plated nickel and through years of use the chrome wore away showing the nickel, but besides this problem all spoon and forks had a metal taste more so when the chrome had wore off and washing them after eating salmon didn’t remove the smell of fish from the cutlery and knives so the solution was to take your cutlery outside and just stick them in the earth for a couple of hours and hey presto, the smell and taste of fish had disappeared, it was exactly the same way an earth toilet worked, the availability of stainless steel cutlery meant no more smelly cutlery.

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I remember eating tripe with vinegar it had to be honeycomb tripe from the fish market my mum used to fry it with onions and gravy but I could only eat it raw

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Born in the late 1940's, I can remember rationing coupons. Dad and grandfather had a fairly big allotments, with greenhouses. There were also up to three pigs, as well as dozens of hens and a few ducks and geese plus their eggs. There was plenty of room for growing greens and other staples such as strawberries and gooseberries. However, the more mundane, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, tomatoes, radish, green beans, onions, turnip, parsnip, potato, rhubarb and sprouts grew in abundance enough to keep our three families well-fed. The sprouts would crop, about the beginning of November, just in time for mother to get them on, the boil for Christmas.

Dad built me a small version of his garden single wheel, wheelbarrow and I would often be sent down to get items from the allotment. We gave names to the pigs, ducks and chickens and on occasion the name would crop up while eating. But we were never squeamish about it. From time to time, the veg would be used to barter for other things, so much was home-made and home cooked. We also kept a couple of dogs down the allotment to ward off intruders. If anyone came around, the dogs would sound off and dad and his brothers would turn out like the cavalry. They would chase them across the fields to the river, which they would have to swim voluntarily or otherwise. Dad said he always knew who had been around the allotment, as they were cleaner than usual.

My favourite snack was a bread cake with pork dripping and a cup of tea. Which I still enjoy today as a special treat. I knew where all the fruit trees were in the area and a bit of judicious scrumping would take place for apples, pear and greengage, which I told everyone that they were plums and not ripe yet. Blackberries were collected in the season and were often made in blackberry and apple pies, though my preference was always for rhubarb and apple. It has been 50+ years since I last went down to the allotment, but I do drive over it today from time to time.

I suppose that's progress.

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This topic has brought out some great memories of the way that many of us lived not so long ago, as well as teaching me what a "pack-up" is. I haven't much to add except a memory of the back oven (heated by the fire in the lounge) in the kitchen at Gleadless Avenue. It didn't get very hot and Mum used it mainly for warming plates and for keeping warm the food which she'd cooked on the "proper" belling electric cooker. But once in a while she'd do a rice pudding, which from memory was left to pobble away gently in the back oven for hours. It tasted absolutely gorgeous.

   Nowadays the home-made rice pudding must be an endangered species. I also recall that Mum made all our cakes, tarts and buns at home; she looked down her nose at people who ate "bought cakes", especially if someone came to visit and brought some bought cakes to give us. She would of course not say anything at the time, but there would be some tut-tutting after the visitors had gone home. I have not eaten lemon meringue pie since Mum passed away because I know I'll never again taste one half as good as hers. 

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I won't dwell on the rabbit situation as I think that during and after the war the shortage of beef led to other animals arriving on the dinner plate. Suffice it to say that we ate so much rabbit that it put me off and to this day I cannot stand the smell of rabbit cooking.

On a more pleasant note I remember a Sunday treat we had. It was tinned pears in all that lovely juice  together with a helping of ice cream and it had to be from the Taggy van!!

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3 minutes ago, peterinfrance said:

I won't dwell on the rabbit situation as I think that during and after the war the shortage of beef led to other animals arriving on the dinner plate. Suffice it to say that we ate so much rabbit that it put me off and to this day I cannot stand the smell of rabbit cooking.

On a more pleasant note I remember a Sunday treat we had. It was tinned pears in all that lovely juice  together with a helping of ice cream and it had to be from the Taggy van!!

I loved Taggys , I think the unique taste to the ice cream was because, I believe they used Condensed Milk.

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Taking my young children on holiday in the 1970s to Brittany ,they were shocked to see the “lovely rabbits”in a run at the bottom of the gites garden being necked one Sunday morning,Obviously rabbit stew was still a favoured dish across La Manche!

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14 hours ago, Lysanderix said:

Taking my young children on holiday in the 1970s to Brittany ,they were shocked to see the “lovely rabbits”in a run at the bottom of the gites garden being necked one Sunday morning,Obviously rabbit stew was still a favoured dish across La Manche!

About that time, I was engaged to a French girl who lived on a farm in the Dordogne. One morning, while staying with the family, I walked outside the farmhouse and saw something grotesque hanging from a washing line. On closer inspection it turned out to be a rabbit, skinned but whole, with the eyes still staring. Madame Bordas (fiancée's mum) had killed it that morning. We ate it for dinner that evening and it was most palatable - and certainly very fresh.

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On 10/07/2021 at 07:18, Athy said:

My Dad was a schoolmaster (at Woodhouse Grammar) so he got a dinner at school and didn't need to take food to work with him. I sometimes had a school dinner (at Gleadless County) and sometimes went home for dinner. So the expression just never occurred in our house because no one needed a pack-up.

Hi Athy,

What dates did You attend Gleadless County School?

I was there from1956 - 1963 and then went to Hurlfield School for Boys until 1968. There's a Gleadless County School and Hurlfield School on the School forum page.

Cheers,

Wazzie Worrall

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On 15/07/2021 at 10:37, Paul Worrall said:

Hi Athy,

What dates did You attend Gleadless County School?

I was there from1956 - 1963 and then went to Hurlfield School for Boys until 1968. There's a Gleadless County School and Hurlfield School on the School forum page.

Cheers,

Wazzie Worrall

1954 to 1960.

You're not Susan Worrall's brother, are you? She was in my class.

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39 minutes ago, Athy said:

1954 to 1960.

You're not Susan Worrall's brother, are you? She was in my class.

Hi Athy,

No Susan Worrall is no relation. I only had one brother - John Worrall (1945-2004). He attended Gleadless PS (left July 1963), City Grammer School and Sheffield City Training College. He immigrated to Canada in 1968 and died in Calgary in 2004.

There was another family of Worrall's who lived at the top of Ridgehill Ave but they were no relation. I think they had a shop in the old Castle Market. I don't know if there was a Susan? I believe that their off-springs went to Prince Edwards School at the Manor Top but I'm not sure?

Worrall is quite a common family name in the Sheffield Area.

Cheers, Wazzie Worrall

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2 minutes ago, Paul Worrall said:

 

Worrall is quite a common family name in the Sheffield Area.

Cheers, Wazzie Worrall

Sounds like it, aye!

 

The Susan in my class may have been a Morrell and not a Worrall. Forgive me, it's quite a long time ago.

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