Thursday, April 05, 2007

More domestic reminiscences

I’ve been waxing lyrical about Iris not being just a pretty face and her prowess in the kitchen but I could say the same about my wife; she was very attractive and a brilliant cook.
I could never find anyone to beat her where culinary arts were involved apart, perhaps, from my mother who was Cordon Bleu trained. My wife was brought up in a household that thrived on good plain cooking. So much so, that one could tell what day of the week it was by the meals prepared! I’m glad to say that after we were married, with the help of my mother, the ‘Cold meat on Mondays’, ‘Stew and dumplings on Wednesdays,’ and ‘Fish on Fridays’ went by the board!
Barbara was, and still is, an adventurous cook as many of my friends will tell you. We have always eaten well and Barbara has put on meals at very short notice when friends have descended on us after a meeting, etc.

In my childhood, my old granny used to swear by a good breakfast and I never went to school without having either cereal or eggs in one form or another.
Iris wasn’t used to breakfast, as her mother was too idle to prepare it and Iris just didn’t have the time before starting off for work. About six months after we first met, I moved in and lived there four days a week. It was then that Iris started preparing breakfast. There was a little more time in the mornings as I dropped Iris off at work before going on to my office. Sometimes, however, evening meals were a little hurried, especially if I had a club booking that was some distance away. Usually it was a case of a quick snack and a late supper after the show.

I remember one year, I think it was 1973, that there was a sudden sugar shortage. We had gone out for dinner to a Chinese restaurant after a show and Iris, very surreptitiously, went round swiping as many sugar lumps as she could find! Fortunately, sugar supplies were back to normal after a couple of weeks or so.
That was, I think, the same year that out of the blue, there was a temporary petrol shortage. It was around Whitsuntide and it had a devastating effect on motorists. Garages cut their opening times and Green Shield stamps suddenly ceased to exist! The shortage didn’t last all that long but for quite a time afterwards, many filling stations closed earlier and it was hard to find one that opened all night.

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