Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Wedding Anniversary, cooking from scratch and other stuff

D and I have been married for 47 years today (I was a child bride!) We don't celebrate it as we are not very lovey-dovey sort of people. On Valentines Day I looked at all the posts re. "We tell each other how much we love each other every day etc etc " and thought that maybe we should be more demonstrative. Then I thought  "Nahhhh....Why changed the habits of a lifetime ?!" So here we are 47 years married,  knew each other 6 years before that and we bumble along in our own way, knowing each other inside out, arguing over politics and how things should be done, watching different television programmes and liking different books .... I could go on. So I reckon with all that "trouble and strife" it's a doomed relationship that won't last!!!
As the the calender from youngest daughter says under a picture of us on our wedding day..." 47 years married + two daughters + three grandchildren = a couple as mad as a box of frogs"  To complete this picture, tonight, as happens every tuesday, he will go to quiz night at the pub tonight without me and I will join him and our friends after it has finished, as I hate quizzes.

Another lovely day today. The usual gang of six for lunch, with a couple of extras (school holidays). Thank goodness for Cheesy Beans on toast.. unless you want egg of course! We've  moved  two large, high-sided containers into the front garden and will be growing carrots in them in the hope that we will beat the carrot fly. Sowed some more "Shirley" tomatoes, parsley, broad beans, Cosmos and sweet peas today. A friend bought me 6lb of raspberries as she is tidying up her freezer. I have cooked them today and put to strain and I will make raspberry jelly tomorrow (D. doesn't like the pips in jam)

  Curry from the freezer for tea for D. and bubble and squeak and 2 types of cheeses for me.

  I have put my salted runner beans in to soak overnight ,as suggested by Anglesey Allsorts. I will change the water in the morning and cook them with a potato tomorrow night. Worth a try eh?

 Iv'e been worrying about how some people will be able to improve their diet, as suggested by everyone in the wake of the Horsemeat Issue. As a smallholder-bought up on rationing-passable cook with a well equipped kitchen, I know that cooking from scratch is (usually) cheaper than buying ready made. However, when  I worked  for Social Services I worked with people who didn't possess a potato masher or sharp knife, who had one frying pan and no saucepans and whose electric ran out so regularly meals were often half-cooked and their tiny freezer compartment threatened to defrost. They, their partners and their children never saw a vegetable as " you can't fill hungry bellies with a cabbage" (but can buy a sliced  loaf with the same money) They often had no money and few skills. How do we help such young families?
 Anyway, the bubble and squeak is calling....or should I say Squeaking?!
Thanks for reading and for following


  1. I think it will be a start to bring back proper Domestic science in schools .. by that I mean real sensible thrifty meals and money management. Six meals made with half a pound of mince etc ... and maybe more free easy cookery workshops for young people... maybe run alongside these Food Banks.
    I could go on and on ... I shall step off the soap box!

    Congrats on the 47 years ..we're much the same ..not very demonstrative.

    Vicky x

  2. Bubble and squeak; my favourite. I too, think they should bring back domestic science for boys and girls. Dont know why they ever go rid of it........
    I know what you mean by cooking and making from scratch but we are probably one in a thousand, right ? Here in the States more and more space in supermarkets is taken up with processed foods and less and less with fresh basics. I have a friend who say she would eat out at restaurants every night if she could; hates anything to do with domesticity.
    We have been married 45 years and are like you and AA, but thats how we like it......
    Hope the beans turn out well.

  3. Totally agree re. the cookery lessons at school and I love the idea of working with people who attend food banks, because you really would be targeting the people who are struggling. I believe that there are discussions re bringing back domestic science in GB, but we have seen so many turn arounds about education in this country recently we will need to wait and see! Some schools don't even have the facilities any more. I guess we in the older generation could mentor young families or groups of young women ( Sexist I know!)Friends often suggest that I run "classes" from my kitchen, along the lines of the quilting and knitting groups that are being set up! I know women like your friend Lizzie. Cookery isn't for everyone, but so many young people eating out or getting takeaways are struggling to make ends meet and still can't make the link. I hate cleaning but know it has to be done, I just have to bite the bullet and do it. Crikey! what did you say about soap boxes Vicky?!

  4. It's very noticeable that we're now into the second and sometimes third generation of frozen dinners and more and more processed food. I know my mum cooked every day for us and I learned a few things from observation but she didn't really like cooking (although what she did do, she did very well) and didn't really teach us as such. In the year after she died I helped my older sister with cooking quite often and learned a bit but then my dad remarried. My stepmother fancied herself as a gourmet cook but that meant elaborate dinner parties for friends every few months - day to day, she cooked a basic meal, dished it up onto plates, covered it with cling film and then each person just heated their own up in the microwave when they got home from school - it was dreadful and since she was very protective of her kitchen (on the rare occasions friends came over, I wasn't allowed make tea, for example, she had to do it) there wasn't much learning happening then either. Although I admit she did teach me to make leek and potato soup once, not long after she married my dad and before she'd settled properly into the role of making our lives miserable (if that sounds bitter and twisted, it is a bit - it took me quite a few years of therapy to even realise half of what she had done and the fact she might not have done it all deliberately doesn't take away from it much). Sorry, got off track there, where was I? Oh yes, so I knew some basics of how to cook but still, when I first struck out on my own wasn't up to much more than boiling potatoes and frying something frozen, like fish fingers. But at least I knew what cooking from scratch looked like so it didn't take me too many years to get there. I'm in my late thirties though, there are lots of people younger than me, who just never really saw lots of cooking from scratch or they saw a bit but were happy to use the 'convenience' of ready-meals - they now have children who have only ever seen the ready-meals. Just look at the number of homes that don't even have a table to sit at for eating. It's a bit like the difference between knowing the rules and making a conscious choice to break or bend them and breaking the rules simply because you didn't even know there was a rule in the first place. People of my generation know what cooking from scratch is but the next one, or a part of it at least, genuinely grew up thinking that cooking was something only weird, possibly only posh people did, it's not 'normal' life.

    Sorry, I think that turned into the longest comment ever - I may copy it and turn it into a full post on my own blog sometime :)

    And happy anniversary is mostly what I wanted to say. LOL

    1. Thanks for that Moonwaves. I reckon you have cause to have a bit of a go at your stepmum ! I was SO lucky with my childhood and even luckier to realise it at the time ! My mum and Gran taught me so much and I try to give my children and grandchildren the same opportunities. I wish I had had a little more time for my girls than I did ( what with working etc) but I do have the grandchildren now to spend time with, so that's good.
      I know what you mean about cooking being "posh". Iv'e heard that said.

  5. Happy belated anniversary! Isn't it wonderful to be so comfortable with someone that you don't have to worry about living up to some outside standards?