East Midlands Food

East Midlands Food

More childhood memories of food…

Here are some more memories of childhood food from people attending the recent Good Food Fair at Belgrave Hall Museum.

What was your favourite food as a child – and why did you like it?

Belgrave Hall Museum - Good Food Fair 2010

Not surprisingly, there were as many answers to this questions as people I asked! It was interesting, though, to see how the answers varied with the age of the person, and how often grandmothers featured in these memories as the cook of the favourite food: ’My Nan’s fruit cake!’ , or ‘Gran’s Yorkshire puddings – she used to hum to herself when making them’. Grans were also remembered as letting the child make something simple but satisfyingly messy that maybe wasn’t allowed at home - cheese scones with flour flying all over the kitchen and more grated cheese on the floor than in the bowl; rice crispie cakes that don’t quite set and fall apart when you pick them up; and lop-sided sponge cakes with runny icing and half the tub of hundreds and thousands on top of them. I’ve made all these with my granddaughter, and great fun it was too – even cleaning up the mess…

Dried egg powder was the favourite of one person who was a child during the Second World War, when so many foodstuffs were rationed or simply not available: ‘It tasted wonderful to me. Also a sandwich spread with white lard and pepper’. Two visitors now in their 80s remembered eating boiled ‘light’ pudding that could be made with bread (which wasn’t rationed) rather than white flour that was in shorter supply: ‘light but chewable’.

Other favourites included ‘My Mum’s cauliflower cheese – good strong cheese fom Simpkin and James [a high class food shop in Leicester] that made a really toasty, chewy top crust’; ‘Mum’s bread pudding’; ‘custard – comfort food’; mushrooms fried in butter; ‘potatoes and cabbage, pickled herring, sprouts’; and plums and apples.

Was there anything you really hated?

While one person loved roast dinners on a Sunday, these were another visitor’s pet hate: ‘the smell, especially the gravy!’. Cheese, celery, parsnips, swedes and turnips, liquorice, and Carnation milk and cream also featured in the list of hated food, along with tripe (with or without onions), ‘Mum’s stuffed marrow – it defied description!’, and ‘My Mum’s white sauce on cauliflower or onions made without fat because she learnt to cook during the war’. Interestingly, though, lots of people told me that they now loved the food they used to hate as a child, maybe because their tastes have literally changed, or because once they weren’t forced to eat it they tried it again and came to like it.

There were also lots of memories of school dinners, which have an interesting history of their own. I’ll save them for another time…

 
 

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About this Sponsor

A research project that looked at various aspects of food in the East Midlands, linking them with museum displays and objects in the region, and making the results available to as many people as possible in different formats.

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