Until I was 11 I went home for dinner. We lived in Bradford. Mum cooked for my sisters, my uncle and me. We had things like cold cuts with chips, bacon and egg, sausage & mash, meat & potato pie. Mum would usually serve a dessert as well – steamed sponge, cakes, fruit pies, rice pudding. When I was 11 we moved to Oxford and I went to school the other side of the city to where we lived so I had school dinners. I remember sitting at a table with a member of staff – a different one each day. I liked most things – not liver though because it was either chewy, rubbery or slimy. Didn’t like the texture. But I remember cheese flan, sliced ham with parsley sauce, fish pie, steak and kidney pie. Often fish and chips on Fridays.
I delighted in eating cabbage, cauliflower and other veg too. That’s how I’d been brought up to eat – square meals mum called them.
Puddings were usually the kinds of things mum cooked. But I do remember boys turning their noses up at semolina pudding with a spoonful of jam or rice pudding with jam. I loved that and swirled it around to make it pink. Chocolate sponge with chocolate ‘custard’ anyone? Delicious. And a jam tart with dessicated coconut sprinkled on top. I also remember a pink ‘custard’ sometimes poured over jam sponge.
We left Oxford when I was 13 & returned to Bradford. We were skint then – Dad was unemployed – so I took sandwiches and sat on my own in the park near school to eat them. They were all right but I yearned for the dinners I had in Oxford. We started having our dinners at tea time then and it was back to home cooked, hearty food.
I think all this gave me my interest and concern about what I eat. Now, at 66, I like to think I am a good cook, adventurous and keen to eat well, think about my diet. Yes, I’m sure this came from those lovely school dinners and mum’s simple, hearty meals.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s