Monday, May 12, 2014

More Thoughts from the Past

Earlier than usual start to my blog as I want to watch a TV prog at 11.00pm.  So if you read this late at night, take it as the Tuesday blog when I hope to return late Tuesday to write the one for Wednesday.

While reading through the Freeview channels to see if there was any prog. worth watching today noticed that 'Root's was on the Entertainment Channel (is that Freeview 61?) starting at 5.00pm until 7.00pm, and every afternoon this week at the same time.   It was only the other day I said to B that I wished it had been shown again as it was a really good series.  Very thought provoking, and am finding it so again, nearly in tears some of the time. 

The previous evening I was watching a repeat about Australia and much was said about the Aborigine population there, and it is always the same, people native to any country seem perfectly OK (give or take a few tribal wars) until civilisation catches up with them, their countries taken over by foreigners who then push the indigenous people to one side while they reap the profits made from the ores and minerals, jewels and anything else the country has.  Same thing happened to the Native Americans, and of course thousands of Africans were taken as slaves to work in the cotton and sugar plantations in the Americas.  It's always the countries that contain value of some sort that are taken over or fought over, those that don't are usually ignored even though today many now do seem some support.

We give a welcome to Julie who is in Australia.  It is always good to hear from readers who live in other countries.  Hope you stick with us Julie.  What part of Oz are you living?

Mary (from Perth, Australia) has memories of her mother not needing to use scales when measuring amounts of ingredients.  Tablespoons in those days used to hold 1 oz of flour (when heaped), and sugar when not so heaped.  A sort of educated guess I suppose, and per-leeze never let this type of guesswork be called 'eyeballing' (as in the US), it is such an ugly expression.  Each time I hear it I have visions of eyeballs being rolled around like marbles.

I remember the coloured shapes we used to make patterns, also some wooden shapes that had a tiny hole in the middle, and children then used to use tiny nails and a little wooden hammer to hold them in place on a padded board.  Heaven forfend! Can you imagine children being allowed to play with tiny nails these days? 
Another of my favourite toys was a Kaleidescope.  Mine was quite heavy as made with mirrored glass on the three sides (and each end) but it made the most wonderful patterns which - of course - were never the same each time it was viewed.

We even had a form of indoor 'cinema', this called Lantern slides when a projector would shine pictures onto a white sheet we hung on the wall.  I do remember the story of the Three Little Pigs that built a house of straw etc.    We also used to make picture shapes of animals and birds using our fingers with a light that shone the shadows onto the wall.

You said you lived in Leicester Mary, and it was on the outskirts of that town that we came to live when I was nine.  Moving to Oadby when married and didn't leave there until 1969 when we went to live in Yorkshire (Leeds).  So am interested to know whereabouts in Leicester you lived for I know that town very well.

Another new name to welcome, this being Pat Shenton.  Have to say egg custard (as made by my mother) I used to really dislike - too eggy in flavour for me.  However I do like the custard tarts (with nutmeg on top) that are sold in cake shops, but suppose they are less eggy and more custard powdery.

You've hit the nail on the head Margie when you said that TV and books keep giving us the 'new improved' way of cooking and recipes.  It's always to do with profits.  Someone writes a new book that sells well and immediately they want a second book to follow.  The TV companies and publishers make a darn sight more money that those who present the progs or write the books.  If the books don't sell well, then 'goodbye' and 'don't call us, we'll call you'. 

Jelly and Blancmange has always been a favourite with our family (adults and children alike). Chocolate blancmange especially, works best eaten alone or with an orange jelly.  Think it is still possible to buy packs of mixed blancmange, strawberry, raspberry, vanilla, chocolate and if there is another flavour can't remember it.  Fancy eating some right this moment, only haven't any.

Seems that my made-up pudding Jane is more successful that I expected.  B keeps going back for more and think he has just about finished it by now.  Suppose, in a way, experience taught me that all the ingredients would work together when prepared in a certain way (crumbing the cake, mixing the condensed milk with eggs and cream or milk, even adding the fruit).  What I wasn't sure was what the texture would be like after baking, and how it would taste.  But it worked.  Thanfully.  If it hadn't I would not have given it to my Beloved, I'd have eaten it all myself.  Not because I'm greedy, but what else could I have done with it.  Throw it away?  NEVER.    No wonder I'm the size of a house, the dustbin never gets a chance to fatten up because no food is ever thrown away.

We have a horse-themed board game Granny G. that you might come across in a charity shop.  It is called 'Totopoly', and consists of racehorses that are first bought, and then the board turned over to make a race-track and then the horses race against each other, moving with the throw of a dice.  The board belonged to B when he was a boy, so the horses are lead but the bottom part of each leg has snapped off over they years, so now they look like German Sausage Dogs (can't spell dachshunds) racing round the track.   The newer sets have plastic (or is it cardboard?) horses.  It's a good game especially as played in two parts.

Like you Sairy, Heinz Tomato Soup has always been a comfort food when poorly.  One of my first memories is drinking a cup of this soup when my two front milk teeth were about to fall out.  They wobbled so much that I couldn't bite into anything, so only drank liquids.  Those were the days.
With your brother fancying chicken and mushrooms, they probably contained something the body needed, for it is surprising how often - when we are ill - we crave something that we normally might not eat.  Once when delirious with a very bad dose of flu, I croaked out I wanted fresh pineapple and yogurt (both of these I normally did not really like eating), and when I was brought some I ate the lot and fell into a deep sleep, waking without any fever and began instantly to recover.

Pregnant women often crave strange foods, these usually containing something the body is short of. When I had my first child, my cravings were those frozen orange lollies that had just made an appearance, and usually sold in cinemas.  I couldn't eat enough - I LOVED them.  Must have needed vitamin C or something.

Your childhood sounded a lot like mine Eileen, although I could never master the roller skates.  I have a great fear of losing my balance, and so my feet sliding out of control was something I couldn't cope with.  I would even get dizzy when on a swing, and even worse on a roundabout.

My memories of sweets (pre-war) were Post Toasties (sort of coconut shapes), and Sherbet Dabs that were little cones of lemon flavoured powder with a liquorice stick for the powder to stick to and be sucked.  We could buy a small, triangular bag of sweets for a farthing in those days.

Forgive is time for my prog. (all about people who are psychic or something, so don't want to miss seeing that).  Tomorrow am going to the spiritualist church so hope to have something interesting to write about in tomorrow's blog.  Hope you can join me then.  TTFN.