Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Eating in the Fifties, Forties, Thirties

When asked how they managed to stay together for 65 years, the woman replied,
“We were born in a time where if something fixed it.
Never throw it away!”

How things have changed! That's how it was when I was a kid! The good old days...and yet we survived because at least the food was sane...wholesome...and not full of chemicals.

Curry was an unknown entity.
Olive oil was kept in the medicine cabinet.
Spices came from the Middle East where we believed that they were used for embalming.
Herbs were used to to make rather dodgy medicine.
A pizza was something to do with a leaning tower.
The main vegetables to use were: potatoes, peas, beans, carrots and cabbage.
Condiments consisted of salt, pepper and vinegar.
Coke was something that we mixed with coal to make it last longer.
Rice was a milk pudding...and never, ever part of our dinner.

A microwave was something out of a science fiction movie.
Brown bread was something only poor people ate.
Oil was for lubricating your bike, not for cooking; fat was for cooking.
Tea was made in a teapot using tea leaves, not bags. Tea had one colour ~black.
Cubed sugar was regarded as posh.
Figs and dates appeared every Christmas, but no one ever ate them.
Hors d'oeuvre was a spelling mistake.
The menu consisted of what we were given...and was set in stone!
Only Heinz made beans...there were no others.

Leftovers went in the dog, never in the bin. (Special foods for dogs and cats was unheard of).
Fish was eaten on Fridays.
Frozen food was called ice cream and came only in one flavour ~ vanilla.
None of us had ever heard of yogurt.
Healthy food had to have the ability to stick to your ribs.
Indian restaurants were only found in India.
Eating out was called a picnic; cooking outside was called camping.
Pancakes were only eaten on Shrove Tuesday...and on that day it was compulsory.
Cornflakes had just arrived from America, but it was obvious that they would never catch on.
We bought milk and cream at the same time in the same bottle.
Prunes were purely medicinal.
Surprisingly, muesli was readily available in those days. It was called cattle feed.

Turkeys were definitely seasonable.
Pineapples came in chunks in a tin; we had only ever seen a picture of a real one.
We didn't eat croissants in those days because we couldn't pronounce them and were unknown to us.
Garlic was used to ward off vampires, but never used to flavour anything.
Food hygiene was only about washing your hands before meals.
Water came out of the tap (or well); if someone had suggested bottling and charging for it, they would have become a laughing stock.
However, the one thing that we never ever had on our table in the fifties ~ ELBOWS!
(Sydney, you're a source of information...Thank You))

Married during “Depression Years” my parents lived the experience of growing all their vegetables plus the planting of strawberries, raspberries, asparagus and fruit trees. Thanks to my father who prepared the soil for my mother's planting, growth and care! Elderberries she picked from bushes near the swamp adjacent to our farm...and how we enjoyed her elderberry pie! In late summer/early fall she preserved much of this harvest for winter meals and kept in the cool, earth-floored-basement.

When old enough to feed ourselves, my sister and I...must eat what we took!
We learned to begin with small servings ~ seconds were always available.

When produce was greater than our use required, it was shared with our country neighbours. Often my mother gave “ preserves” as gifts to family; my father reciprocated with hand-made wooden tools.

In mid-Victorian England, obesity was virtually unknown (except possibly in the small upper classes.)
They consumed far less salt, sugar, alcohol and tobacco than we did...and even today. They did not have hi-temperature cooking methods that today's “fast foods” demand, etc.

Eating at home, one can keep portion sizes reasonable; at restaurants, this cannot be controlled.

For Great Health Benefits: Have a “home garden” of vegetables and fruit. Plots in “community gardens” are available in urban centres. Have arrangements with a farm(s) in rural areas to purchase and enjoy pesticide-free produce.

Food Waste ~ The Next Generation?
Half the food grown last year was thrown out...SAD!
 One billion people in the world are hungry!
How are we going to feed 9 billion people by 2050? Experts estimate that we need to grow 60% more food than we currently produce. As a result, there is a “push” to constantly create more ~ more miracle crops ~ more monocultures ~ more monocrops ~ more seeds. Do the Math: If we are better about USING the food we now grow...we're already about half-way there! Much food offered to stores are rejected...due to size, colour and shape. They market “eye-peal” to shoppers! Sadly, much perfectly Good Food is discarded and dumped!
How to Stop Wasting:
If your produce starts to go soft, put it in a cup of cold water for an hour or two and it'll regain life.
Stir-frying is a great way to use up a jumble of mismatched ingredients.
Rearrange your refrigerator so the most perishable items are most visible.
You can add a couple weeks to fresh herbs by placing in a knotted plastic bag with 2 T. of fresh water.
Plan your meals in advance and with an eye to utilizing most ingredients.
Use meat and fish scrap to make a stock .(The carcass will freeze if unable to do so right away.)
Baking can use up fruit and dairy...if on the verge of expiration.
Eating Behaviour of 20,000 years ago...may be the solution in our future!

Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...December 15, 2013

1 comment:

  1. SHERRIE WROTE: Great entry on your blog today and it was so much fun reliving all these wonderful notes about life back then...well, it's all true, as I'm healthier now than ever before ~ and I owe it all to my childhood. Thanks to good Moms!"
    it all to my childhood.