Small Plates

I've been thinking a lot about losing weight.

I seem to have fallen out of love with Slimming World, and as we try to keep a very tight rein on our finances, the weekly cost can't be justified when it's just not working.

I have always had a bit of a thing about how much our meals have changed in my lifetime.

It began with Christmas, when I would wonder how on earth, as kids,  we ate a big Christmas breakfast of cold cuts ( a Midland thing, I think),  turkey and all the trimmings at lunch, tea with cake and trifle, and turkey sandwiches for supper.  The only conclusion I can draw, is that the portions were much  MUCH   smaller.

I've dwelt on this, and I'm sure I'm right,  The plates were smaller!  Everything was smaller.

I was born fourteen years after the end of the second world war, but scarily, only five years after the end of rationing. My mother could make a shilling do the work of two and feed a family on next to nothing. My father was ill, for the whole of my life, but worked relentlessly.  They had been through impossible to imagine hardship.

I'm absolutely certain that what to them was the untold luxury of unrationed food, of imported treats and the birth of supermarkets and frozen foods - to us, today, was meagre fayre still.

So I've got this theory I might be able to gain control by just eating like my parents did.

Fortuitously I found three plates sitting in the greenhouse which are more the size we used to have. They've had a good clean and are in the kitchen.

For lunch, I had a ham and tomato sandwich. Just that. And a cup of tea. It had un slimming world spread on the bread, but it was not accompanied by any extras.

For supper, I fished lamb chops out of the freezer - ours are huge by shop bought standards but we've still often had two each. One today, with plentiful vegetables and rather less potatoes - though it was the spuds which were always piled up to feed the men! The men, incidentally, had bigger plates. More the kind of size we now use.  In a real nod back to childhood, there was bread and butter on the table, and the teapot warming for straight after the meal.

A small dessert of tinned peaches and one small scoop of icecream.

I struggle to find time in the evenings to do the things I need to do - study, do the garden, do some sewing - so I plan to simplify meals, and make them smaller. In summer, night after night we'd have salad - which amounted to plain cos lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and a dab of salad cream - with some new potatoes and either ham, cheese, or egg.  I see a few of those in our future. I can produce most of that!

We talked about packed lunches - one round of sandwiches - just cheese or maybe fish paste - a small slice of cake if you were lucky, and an apple.  Neil can remember with his two brothers, having a bag of crisps to share!

I'm happily fascinated. I must dig out Nella Last.  And get to using the small plates.


mel said...

My grandparents grew up with rationing -- the stories they could tell! My Nanna grew up in the Lake District, near farms, so they did better than most but their prevailing motto was always 'everything in moderation'. They used sugar, cooked with lard, ate eggs...all of the things you're not 'supposed' to do but they enjoyed good health and were never overweight. I've always noticed, too, how small their portions were. A sandwich with a single slice of ham and some cheese and a cup of tea for you say....and not because of trying to deprive themselves, but that's just how they ate.

Anyway -- this is so fascinating to me, because I think we've really lost the plot where food is concerned and I'm a great believer in keeping things simple. :) xoxo

Jackie said...

You know, having mentioned salad cream last night. I went mad today and treated myself. I'm a salad cream lover in a mayonnaise household. So we rarely indulge. I was looking for a picture last night to dress this blog post up with (I gave up ) and i saw the bottles of heinz salad cream that used to grace our tables. They were 10oz. That was a big bottle.
10oz is around 285mls. The upside down plastic monstrosity i bought today? 400mls! That's 40% bigger! And yet it doesn't feel huge. It feels normal.
We're in all kinds of trouble.

mel said...

salad sandwiches with salad cream. *slurp* one of my fave lunches when i'm at my grandad's. He still buys it in the small bottle --it's an import here so I don't think it comes in the big plastic monstrosity.

salad cream is definitely far superior to mayo. ;) xoxo

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