Noshtalgia

Martin Field 2009-06-17T03:08:10+00:000000001030200906 Food and Wine

Boiled bacon and cabbage in Callan
In the summer of 1968, I travelled from London to Callan (County Kilkenny, Eire) to see my ageing grandmother, Annie. She was happy to welcome me, having last done so in the late 1940s, before my family came to Australia in 1950.
‘You’ll be wantin’ something for lunch then, Martin?’ she asked, semi rhetorically, in her soft Irish drawl. I had told her I’d had no breakfast and had just hitchhiked from Clonmel.
A short while later she served up a whopping great plate of boiled bacon and cabbage, accompanied by a small mountain of creamy mashed spuds adorned with a generous lump of pale farmhouse butter. On the side were thick slices from a just-baked loaf of wholemeal soda bread. Oh, and a bottle of Guinness.
Every evening my uncle Joe drove me into Kilkenny, where we pub crawled in style, revelling in the music of the ‘ballad’ (folk) singers and fiddlers – and drinking numerous pints of Guinness. Less fun was the twilit drive home in Uncle Joe’s old Morris. I swear you could see the road through the rusting floor and only the Leprechauns knew what his blood alcohol content was.


The Perfect Meal – 1962
In 1962 a U.K. Gallup poll asked respondents to describe their perfect meal, ‘irrespective of cost.’
Here it is: ‘Sherry; Tomato soup; Sole; Roast chicken, Roast potatoes, peas and sprouts; Fruit salad and cream; Wine [unspecified]; Coffee; Cheese and biscuits.’
What would Australians choose as their perfect meal in 2009?
Source: Plenty and Want, by John Burnett, Pelican paperback, England, 1968. See another edition at Google Books.

: Wine