A Walk in Wikipedia

It all started with Derrick J Knight. The man is a bad influence, though probably not as bad as Wikipedia.

His mention of a Spong mincer set my mind back to a time when, in my early 20s, I was firmly based in the cookery traditions of my mother – Be-Ro cookbook, Spong mincer and pressure cooker.

I’ve just spent a happy couple of hours delving into various links and thinking about the cookery of my youth.

In those days we had savoury mince or Cottage Pie (which is not much of a stretch, just savoury mince with mashed potato on top). Spag Bol and chilli con carne were still some years off. If you wanted exotic food when I was a kid you had a Vesta meal or  prawn cocktail, and you had it with lettuce. Avocados ranked with Unicorns in those days. (I was going to say “hen’s teeth” but even as a kid I knew chicks were born with an egg tooth. It’s a throw-back to when they were dinosaurs). Not all my useless knowledge comes from Wikipedia.

I’ve also been looking into the Laws of Rugby in reply to a discussion on yesterday’s France  v Wales game. That’s not as relaxing as thinking about food.

I’m planning to look at poetry next, as I need some new titles and I should really give Gray’s Elegy a rest.

No photographs for now, I don’t have any relevant food photos and there’s no point photographing a pile of poetry books as I’ve just said I’m browsing poetry on the web.

Instead, I’ll leave you with this thought:

“There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”
Bill Watterson




20 thoughts on “A Walk in Wikipedia

  1. beatingthebounds

    Vesta chow mein – we would plead with my mum (a very, very good cook who must have been deeply distressed by our lack of taste) to make it. Campbells meatballs too. Meanwhile, my mum’s own meatballs, made with the suction-fixed work-top mincer and very probably a pressure cooker, were, I realise now, delicious, but sadly under-appreciated. Prawn cocktails were the height of sophistication and I didn’t even bring myself to try it until I was well into my teens.
    A query – can you still buy jars of ‘meat paste’? And what was in it? (Actually, I’m not sure I want to know.)

    1. quercuscommunity

      I used to make meat paste sandwiches for the kids but haven’t looked for it for probably 15 years. I remember the crab paste used to have bits of crab shell in it, so there was some stuff related to the label in the pastes.

      I always liked the Vesta Curry, but loved the fried noodles in the Chow Mein.

      Good times…

      1. beatingthebounds

        Yes, it was the fried noodles, that I really loved. I’ve always suspected that crab paste only had crab in it’s name, but not in its ingredients. I don’t think ingredients were listed then were they? Not that all of them are now, sadly. (Recently read ‘Swallow This’ by Joanna Blythman a very scary book about the food industry.

    1. tootlepedal

      I should have added that you don’t need to pay attention to the rules of rugby as none of the players and few of the referees seem to be very keen on them.

  2. clarepooley33

    Despite the fact that my father had a somewhat deprived childhood he was a fairly fussy eater and wouldn’t touch certain foods. When pizza ‘arrived’ in Britain my mother knew he would never eat it so she made ‘savoury slices’, a square pizza cut into fingers, which he enjoyed. He also liked ham, egg and cheese tart (quiche) and a few other adaptations of foreign dishes. He never really liked pasta but Mum managed to get him to eat it during the last 20 years of his life. He would never let his lips touch it, taking it from his fork with his teeth. Strangely, he did enjoy a prawn cocktail, his starter of choice. We never had Vesta meals; my mother disapproved of them 🙁

    1. quercuscommunity

      Yes, we used to have egg and bacon pie and cheese flans – or quiche as they are now known.Savoury slices sound really good – bring on the retro! As for Vesta meals, your mother was probably right in her assessment. 🙂


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