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What are your memories of meals growing up (good & bad)?

Below, Lisa of the Plaskett College, writes about some of her memories ….
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Reflecting on my childhood, I was very fortunate that I was given a great start to life nutritionally. Breastfed for the first 6 months of life and wholesome meals as standard growing up, my mum – a nurse, mum of 3, Carer to her parents and wife to a Navy man – was a bit of a super-mum really! Time was always of the essence in the kitchen however she always managed to ‘throw together’ a nutritious meal made with fresh ingredients, albeit generally involving a quick and easy one-pot style meal. In our later years she would apologise for the care-free presentation – it was all about a meal that would ‘cook itself’ – however thinking back it is clear that the ultimate care was in the meal planning stage.

The Autumn-Winter months hold some of my fondest memories: warming stews and casseroles bulked with pulses provided a quick and easy yet well-balanced meal – the pig trotter & barley stew was a particular favourite of mine! Home-made elderflower cordial was downed with the promise of keeping the colds at bay; Saturday night treat meals ‘on our laps’ would often include proper home cooked chips prepped from potatoes scrubbed of the thick mud first & pizzas made entirely from scratch and Sundays were a day for crumbles made with fruit we had foraged, peeled and cored ….apart from the damsons, that is, as me, my brother & sister liked to play “tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor” at the table with the stones collected in our pudding bowls!

From a child’s perspective, it wasn’t always rosy though. We had very little in the way of processed foods (in fact I was in my late teens before ready-made chips and pizza appeared in our freezer!) so I felt hard done by with my packed lunches of granary bread sandwiches, home-made ‘chunky’ vegetable soups and ‘chunky’ vegetable pasties (there’s a theme here, gag!), apples with maggot holes n’ all and home-baked buns that forgot to rise all serving as a good source of mockery for my peers. I would look on with envy as they peeled back their lunch box lids to reveal perfect triangular white bread ham sandwiches, mini chocolate bars and bags of crisps that I could only dream of! Little did I appreciate the ‘value’ of my lunches at the time but as an adult, I couldn’t be more thankful to my mum for teaching us what real food is. Although I’ve just remembered the home-made yogurt making machine… now that was a step too far 

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