It was acceptable in the 80’s: Was it really?

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My Mum was an 80’s Mum through and through and this was reflected in the food we ate. Growing up we didn’t have a lot of money, so Mum shopped cheap and frozen. It was also the 90’s, the decade of connivence, so much of our food was also re-heated and re-constituted. Yum!

Every Friday Mum would drag me ‘up Colne’ to the next big town on the big old orange busses to Kwik Save and Farmfoods to purchase our weekly shop. This mainly consisted of Chipsticks, Pink n Whites, Crispy Pancakes and Turkey Dinosaurs. I loved Potato Waffles and baked beans, so our trolly was always filled with these and I also loved mini pizzas… no wonder I was a chubby little kid.

Aside from re-heated frozen stuff, every so often Mum would cook up one of her signature dishes, these were stewing steak pie and giant yorkshire puds. I loved her stewing steak pie so much I always tried to make it with her and offered to go to the butchers to purchase her meat. She made it in a big old glass casserole dish and covered the top with the most buttery and lush pastry… to this day I’ve never tasted a pie quite like it. I wish I’d written down her recipe…

Mum’s Yorkshire puddings were also out of this world amazing. Using the same tins she’d had for years, Mum’s Yorkshires would just about fit on your plate, and your Sunday dinner would be piled inside them. The bottoms would be soggy with gravy, while the outside would stay crispy and crunchy. The smell… the taste… we all LOVED Mum’s Yorkshire puddings, to this day I haven’t met anyone who can make them as good – I’m yet to try and tackle Mum’s famous Yorkshires.

As for baking, she didn’t bake very often and I only remember her baking three things; raisin rock buns, raspberry rock buns and fairy cakes. I didn’t help her much, I don’t think she liked me medling, but she sometimes let me lick the bowl. I’d always hover around the oven when she took them out and pester her until she let me have one. I always loved her raspberry rock buns straight of the oven when the jam was all sticky and hot.

Actually, I tell a lie… she also used to make banana and custard (find me an 80’s Mum who didn’t) and she made a mean rhubarb crumble with Kwik Save’s finest tined rhubarb if we were lucky. It’s all coming back to me now!

Mum’s food was and always will be remembered as good old-fashioned 80’s food. If I was to cook for her now, I’d start with a prawn cocktail starter with a sweet chilli twist, introduce her to the wonders of red wine in a beef stew and take her on a trip down memory lane with one of my mini apple pot pies.

What dishes remind you of your childhood? Comment and let me know.

Hayley Jayne x

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