Remember when you had to eat your sprouts or there was no pudding?

Steve Milnes
Steve Milnes

Nowadays it’s so easy to nip to the local shop for a few bits or even, in some cases, a big shop.

In the 1950s and 1960s, things were not so convenient as money, in mine and many kids’ experience, was scarce.

Many parents grew stuff in gardens and allotments in order to make ends meet.

I recall travelling around seeing chickens and pigs kept in allotments, and even on some gardens.

Freezers were only in some shops then, so any excess produce would be sold off or given away to friends and neighbours.

So at some point in the year you had a glut of cabbages or tomatoes and many other types of garden produce.

For us kids the glut of cabbages or Brussels sprouts was torture on a plate.

In those days though you had to eat what was placed in front of you, or stay at the table until you did.

If your mother had made a sweet, pudding to us then, you had to let your dinner go down before you could have any.

If you had left anything from your dinner on the plate , then no pudding

Needless to say, sprouts became surprisingly tasty on these occasions.

I can still taste steamed jam roly poly, apple pie and tarts made with various jams.

I loved Christmas too with home-made mince pies.

One of my favourites in autumn was a blackberry pie or blackberry and apple.

We would go around the lanes near us and spend hours picking blackberries, coming home with clothes ripped and many scratches from the thorns.

Mothers would often make jams and pickles and all sorts of things that are mostly shop bought now.

I wonder how many have tried tripe and chick-lings, both quite common then.

My dad often had either one or the other for supper.

Another favourite then, I suspect rarely seen or consumed now, was pork or beef dripping, delicious on toast or a sandwich and brilliant, so I’m told, for frying chips.