East Midlands Food

East Midlands Food

Selstonia – or where’s me snap…?

57 The Breach, Lawrence's home 1887 - 91

I recently spent a fascinating day in Eastwood with my fellow MuBu scholars, Dave Amos and Lucy Veale, visiting the D.H. Lawrence Birthplace Museum and other sites relating to Lawrence’s life there. The kitchen was the heart of the house for miners and their families, as it was for many other working class people – usually the warmest room in the house, with food cooked over an open fire or on a cast-iron range. Cleaning and black-leading the range was hard work, but it was great for food like rice puddings and stews that needed long slow cooking, and for making bread in the days when working class women made their own rather than buying from a baker.

Dave has recently been working on a heritage project in Selston, in the Ashfield area of Nottinghamshire, recording people’s memories of life in the village and of work in agriculture, mining or textiles. Along with Estelle Liley, he has compiled a book on food in Selston, with recipes and memories of rationing, local delivery rounds and the Co-op, and school dinners. One woman remembered her school dinners as ‘great. No choice of dishes, just wholesome, tasty, filling fresh food… Some days it was difficult for me to get up from the table I was so full. After the pudding had been devoured, tables had to be cleared and a damp cloth from the hatch was used to wash and wipe the now empty surfaces down ready, if this was the ‘first sitting’, for the second one… Each day brought a totally different menu so there was always something you liked. No one ever went hungry…’.

Here’s a wartime recipe for cheese pudding from the book – just use fresh eggs in place of the dried ones!

Cheese Pudding

Half a pint of milk

2 eggs (2 level tbsps dried eggs mixed with 4 tbsps water)

4 oz grated cheese

1 breakfast cup breadcrumbs

Salt & pepper

Quarter tsp dried mustard

Add the milk to the egg mixture and stir in the other ingredients. Pour into a greased dish and cook for about 30 minutes in a moderately hot oven until brown and set. (Serves 4).    

My thanks to Dave for a copy of the book: Food for Thought, or where’s me snap, compiled by Estelle Liley & David Amos (Selstonia Living Heritage Booklet No. 2).

 
 

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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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