Hayfever Blues and Nostalgic Food Reminescences….

Today i am feeling sorry for myself, my nose is attached almost permanently to a tissue, there is a tickle that won’t be chased away and my eyes feel like they are drowning in a sea of pollen – yes its the hay fever season again!. Maybe i should try a violet ray lamp probe….

When ever i feel slightly under the weather my thoughts automatically go back to times in the past, and memories of comfort food remedies, generally the ones cooked by my mum, so this is where my thoughts are sitting at the moment. My ultimate comfort food is always steamed cod, creamy and smooth mashed potato, peas and a very parsley heavy sauce, and it never is the same if it’s cooked by anyone but my mum. I guess it makes sense as ‘poorly’ food..lots of iron, easy to eat, quite simple…if only my mum wasn’t  a few thousand miles away!

Its quite interesting comparing the food that i enjoy now, with the food that i have fond memories of a child…I grew up in the seventies and my food history straddles the world of the very simple and wholesome with the food revolution of the seventies that was supposed to liberate the housewife away from laboursome cooking…so along came the boil in the bags, the crispy findus pancakes, artic roll, cup a soups, frozen mousses, smash(for mash get smash), angel delights…a world where vienettta’s felt positively exotic…



But these such things were special treats, and the most of the food we shared as a family was simple and wholesome; lancashire hot pot, spaghetti bolognaise, cottage and shepherds pies, fish pie, steak and kidney puddings, liver and onions, baked potatoes, sherry trifle, bread and butter pudding and of course my favourite – steamed cod and parsley sauce. i grew up in the north in the spirit of thriftyness, so we used the local butcher and bought all the cheap buts of meat and slow cooked ham hocks with beans, necks of lamb, the livers and the kidneys all which i enjoyed …but i also remember (with a slight shudder of horror) pickled pigs trotters and tripe and onions. Here follows some simple recipes to warm your soul…. (click on link for recipes)

Lancashire hotpot
Lancashire Hotpot
Smoked ham hock white beans
Perfect fish pie
Bread and butter pudding

I guess these recipes hold more in my memory than just taste, they take me back to those moments as a child, some good, some not so good , almost like a quick time tunnelled moment where you can find a memory and it can become more three-dimensional, it has a smell, and a taste. My family weren’t great with the whole ‘talking’ about emotional stuff moments but hell they can cook a mean roast dinner!

What recipes do you remember from your childhood or later, can you share them with me?…

Thanks – keri – Humble Cottage x


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