Shirtless


We were poor
dirt poor
but, my mother did the best
she could with what she had to
feed six kids and two adults.

I loved her cooking.

Taught by her mother before her
they all ate cheap and cheerful meals
which prevented going hungry
during the second world war
when food was severely rationed.

She made meals that seemed to
come from nowhere
yet,
probably took her hours to prepare
(if I had paid it any attention)

Curious once
I remarked that she didn’t ever
follow a recipe like the cooks
on TV shows so, how did she know
how much of this or that to use
she replied:
“Oh, I don’t need a recipe, I just
throw it all in and don’t even
think about it.”

And yet, what she made was
always such a delight.

She made bread pudding
from stale bread with fruit
and lots of sweet spices
topped with sugar.
Served with custard, it was all so yummy
and as soon as it appeared
it disappeared.

She made Roly Poly Pudding
filled with strawberry jam
or, for dinner
she’d make bacon and onion pudding
both of these she’d prepare and
shape just like a really thick
rolling pin
then,
she’d wrap them into a clean
white rag to sit inside a pot to steam
(No fancy pots and pans back then)
and after supper when our tummy’s
were full
sometimes later my step-father would
be heard to say:

“I can’t find my white shirt
the one with the white buttons on it.
You know the one I mean Shelia?”

Mum,
(the shirt stealing cook)
had struck again.

~*~

© Daydreamertoo *all rights reserved

Created as cheap meals both long before and, during WW2 as a way of feeding lower working class folks and those who were poor, all of these recipes are really old but still so well loved, mainly in England. Even today they’ve been handed down to new young cooks and yes, my mum did used to cut up my step-father’s white shirts (minus the buttons) to make the puddings… much to his annoyance!   LOL

Bacon & Onion Pudding How it’s made

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