Geddington – A life in words and memories – September

Thank you to Sandra, who in her ‘Comment’ to the website told the story of her father spilling the Sunday roast as he took it home; it reminded me of a passage in the Holding sisters’ diaries.

Sunday – traditionally a day of rest when families come together to enjoy a meal and what could be better than a roast dinner with all the trimmings!

It is September 1928 and, like most lucky families, the sisters Daisy and Carrie are planning their Sunday meal but, unlike most families today with modern kitchens, the cooking of that special Sunday meal had its own customs and routines away from the cottages and instead action took place in the village bakehouses. Here is Daisy’s description of one such Sunday.

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Bakehouse HillThere is a decided nip in the air, a faint smell of garden fires and a strong smell of roast pork, sage and onion and apple sauce! It floats around most appetisingly and I’ll tell you the reason why.

Emily Abbott in front of the bakehouse

Emily Abbott in front of the bakehouse

One of our good neighbours has killed her well fed pig, and we have all been helping her out with it. So much so that she has only scraps for her own family. In our village, our midday Sunday meal is almost a sacred rite. No matter what we have in the larder, whether a timely gift of game, a stray rabbit, a plump chicken or the homely joint, we always cook it on a Sunday. Most of us send it to the bakehouse, usually in a batter pudding, known to us as a ‘Bake pudding’  Yes indeed we always have Bake Pudding with chicken. It ekes it out and makes a tit bit for Sunday night supper, cold and eaten with the fingers. Strange visitors are highly amused to see the weird procession at 12:30 wending its way along the street; each individual carrying a tin sending forth a delicious, savoury odour. No, in spite of our new-fangled electric cookers and Valour Perfection Stoves the majority of us still stick to the Bake-house – and no wonder; a perfectly cooked dinner for 1½d. It used to be 1d.

 

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A few weeks later Daisy describes a rather different situation:

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We began the week with very little food in the larder and no money as there were shoes to be paid for.

Here is the menu and not a bad one either. You try it , whoever you are, if you get tired of your food and don’t know what to have. Remember I have six mouths to feed plus two cats for 3 meals every day.

Sunday morning breakfast: tea, brown bread and butter

Dinner: tiny rasher of bacon and jolly cakes, hot water and half an apple. Small slice of bread

Tea: same as breakfast

Supper: Brown toast and cocoa

Monday breakfast: same as Sunday

Dinner: shred of bacon, cauliflower (Sarah’s gift), potatoes and hot water

Tea: Twists (gift) margarine and homemade blackberry jelly

Supper: soup

Tuesday Breakfast: tiny rasher of bacon and fried bread, bread and marmalade

Dinner: Bloater and boiled potatoes. Cup of tea.

Tea: bread and margarine, Swiss buns

… on another occasion

Dinner: force meat balls, marrow, potatoes and white sauce

Supper: Quaker oats and syrup. Crusts cut from the sandwiches

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Certainly not a life of luxury, but one where the better days were appreciated as a great contrast to the more frugal ones.

Enjoy your Sunday lunch!

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