My friend Andrew posted a very interesting blog in a series he is writing about a hundred year old house where he and I used to live, and which is now his family home in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester.
In the article, he imagines what the original owners Joe and Mary Anne Scott might have been eating in the 1940’s, what we ate in the 1970’s and what his family eat now. The house is a very special place and the kitchen always seems full of welcoming smiles, a steaming cup of tea or coffee, delicious smells and delicious meals. I am sure it was in Joe and Mary Anne’s time, I remember it being so when I lived there, and I know it is now from the times we visit Andrew and his family.
So what might I, or John whose house it was, have cooked in the 1970’s? I’ve always loved cooking, and came from a family of good cooks who used fresh vegetables for every meal and cheaper cuts of good quality meat in economical but tasty ways. Mike John and I had been to France many times and the shops were now full of what ten years previously might have seemed exotic, like red and green peppers, salami, pasta of all different shapes and sizes…
Even then I had a lot of cookery books, my standby, the Hamlyn All Colour Cook Book, my bible The Reader’s Digest Cookery Year,
But also books by Arto der Haroutunian, a fabulous Armenian cook and restaurant owner in Manchester, and other international recipes, plus what we cut out from newspapers and magazines.
So for dinner we might have had spaghetti Bolognese, steak and kidney pie, pork chops, curry, or goulash! I was beginning to improve as a baker so there would often be cake or buns, and as Andrew mentions in his post, we loved to celebrate with friends. Having people round for a meal was something we did regularly and then we would find more exotic recipes, and serve three courses, maybe trout with almonds to begin with, Andalusian chicken for main, and key lime pie for dessert… happy, happy memories of cooking, eating and living in that house in Chorlton!