Wednesday, 11 September 2013


I was looking through my old recipe scrap book the other day and came across a couple of sheets of paper torn out of a note book.
Written on these were lists of dinners from years ago when there was five of us.
Tom has had a lot of illness during his life and we were often short of cash and so I had to be really organised with the meals.

With 5 to feed I had to make everything from scratch as it was cheaper. No fish fingers or frozen meals then for us.
You'll notice things like Heart Stew, Liver and Bacon and Kidney Saute.
These were the kind of meals that were really cheap then in the 60's,70's and first part of the 80's.
I laughed when I saw the Mackeral Parcel, my daughter has never forgot this one, she hated it.
But it was lovely, and everyone else like it.

Somewhere there is a list of puddings, I must look it out.
Rice pud, jelly flan, individual milk jellies are some that come to mind.
All this coupled with lots of home made cakes meant that we always ate well no matter how short of cash we were and the kids look back on it fondly.
Well, all apart from the Mackeral Parcel. lol


  1. We have often had to live on little money after the bills where paid, I used to write down a menu for the week and stick to it right down to the last crumb but we never once went to bed hungry and sick of the same meal. I don't like frozen meals have only ever bought one for myself and to be quite honest I thought it was a waste of money not enough to feed a child never mind me who likes a good portion. Look forward to seeing your pudding list. Mackeral parcel think my hubby would like that. Love Jill xx

  2. my list of meals from when i was first married with little kids, is on the front and back of an index card. my friend bought a book called 1001 ways to cook burger, the ones we loved i jotted down the name of the recipe, like crustless pizza.. everything on the list was cheap cheap cheap.

  3. What a find! I think this is something that should be handed down in the family, what great memories! Not many mom's cook dinner every evening

  4. I used to do a list of meals too. My kids always liked it because I would fill out a calendar a week in advance and they never had to ask what's for dinner, they just looked on the calendar

  5. We were very poor long ago and fish where we were living was expensive so Homemade Bread was the staple and from this everything was based and Ham an cabbage. For fun we would buy fruit that was going and make fruit leather now a days. they call it fruit roll ups. Those were the days :)

  6. that brought back some memories. Money was always skimpy so I had to be very inventive. Kidney risotto, stuffed breast of lamb, a million ways with mince and I remember mackerel parcel. We liked it. Still frugalling away merrily. Just cos you are hard up doesn't mean you have to eat from the 'hair shirt' menu!

  7. You were a lot more adventurous than my mum (although she is a lot older than you so no direct comparison intended). We had beef curry and bolognaise (the height of exoticism), corned beef fritters (ugh), spam fritters, macaroni cheese (I like this but mum would add a tin of tomato soup; disgusting and runny), boiled spuds with everything including the curry and spag bol. She did a fabulous beef stew, though, and did wonders feeding us all frugally, although dad was hardly ever out of work (about 2 or 3 weeks in his whole life). But her worst dishes made me learn to cook so I could have something less repellant than her mac chesse and corned beef fritters!

  8. The sort of meals I was brought up on. I was a war child in England , 2nd world war
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  9. Love your list. Looking down it for ideas. I love cooking from scratch. Feels like a victory every time I put a homemade meal on the table. Don't always succeed but menu planning helps. I have to admit, I'm not sure the mackerel parcels would work for the rest of my family!