There’s a lot of media about food, what we eat and how good it is for us to have this, that and the other. Plus much said about how we Brits used to eat so badly and never ventured off into more experimental food before now.

I’m 58, but not for very long now, so was raised as a lad during the 1950’s and 60’s and was indeed fed with a regular diet of Fry Ups for breakfast (usually using Lard), Treacle Puddings and Gypsy Tarts (an old Kentish dish, recipe below). Although this may be a huge reason to do with me having a handful of teeth left, I am still reasonably healthy and never been overweight – as many are the same in my age bracket.

Nowadays, the new healthy image is tainted with fast food, pre-cooked stuff and an even wider variety of sweet bars with umpteen ‘e numbers’ to their credit.

There must be more people overweight now (through eating wrong) than there were in my day. Maybe we did eat very basic food laced with lashings of sugary custard and the Corn Flakes weren’t the same without at minimum three spoonfulls of sugar and top of the milk!

It must be that our culture then was to eat at regular times, in regular places (not in front of the TV) and we didn’t have all those inbetween snacks of potato crisps and sweet bars. Maybe fewer of us owned a car and we were more used to walking than we are now. Certainly even now I have a guilty consience if I travel by car or Moped to anywhere less than about 2 miles away.

So, my opinion is that it’s OK to eat a bit of the old stuff now and again. As long as we don’t overdo it and balance it out with something a bit more healthy ie Steak and Kidney Steamed Pudding, but a fresh fruit salad for desert, then all is well?

Again I say, it isn’t ‘clever being self reliant’, it’s simply looking at what our Grandparents did, how they lived and just copy a bit from them.

See below for recipe…


1 x 400g (14oz) tin of
Evaporated milk.
12 oz Dark muscovado sugar.
1 x 10in shortcrust pastry case
Pre baked.

Pre heat oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.
Whisk evaporated milk and sugar together for 10 – 15
minutes until light and fluffy. The mix should be
coffee coloured. Pour the mix into the pastry case
and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. The gypsy tart
will have a slightly sticky surface but will not be
set completely until it has been left to cool. Serve
cold. Easy!!

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