I was given this award by Marja, of Dutch Corner. Thankyou Marja, I didn't realise you had nominated your whole blog roll! But that is how I feel about my list, & there are many not yet on the listed list, that I also enjoy. So please, anyone who reads here today, consider yourself selected!
Marja has some great pictures of Sumner, a beach I know well, & which we visited often with our children when they were young.
Ali Honey also has some lovely pics of a beach I knew well, as a child, & also as a young adult. It is an oft visited beach, with a harbour side, an ocean side, & a small 'mountain' to be climbed or walked around. Many happy hours were spent as children on that beach, & in the ocean, lying out beyond the breakers, on Lilos as they were called. They were black rubber inflatable floats, & could be hired for a small fee, for the whole day, if you wished. I would be as brown as chocolate, & my mother would refer to me as a 'blue eyed Maori' by the end of summer.
When I was at Primary School, our class would invariably be taken off somewhere for School Picnic Day, once a year. The bus would be filled with excited children who had packed picnic treats, & special drinks. I remember that our school often went to Mt Maunganui, & we would spend the day being herded about, carefully watched while we had a swim in the ocean, & eating our -sometimes sandy,- lunches. My Grandmother always made me something special to take in my lunch & often it was wonderful Raspberry Biscuits - cookies to USA readers. I never did get the recipe for those, but made one of my own for my children & they loved them as much as I had.
When I went nursing at 18, in the City adjacent to the Mt Maunganui beach, which had become the Port, on days off, a group of us would get over to the beach, to sun ourselves, & swim. Or the current boyfriend might take me for the day. It was always a pleasant destination, & I had relatives who lived there, & still do, so the area was well known to me, & still brings a lump to my throat, though it has changed quite vastly from the old township I remember.
I have also been recalling my Grandmother's stove. It was a "Neeco", an electric stove, covered in green enamel, & it had heavy solid elements on the top, & an oven which would seem primitive nowadays. She cooked huge meals in & on that stove, & would cater to her whole family at Christmas time. Usually around 8 adults & 7 or 8 children. It was usually very hot, & I can still see our Grandmother's face, gleaming with perspiration, & a bright red, from her labours. All done with love, & never a complaint.
Our Grandmother was an excellent cook, & I remember her using asbestos mats to 'stop the milk from catching' when she made her sauces, & milk puddings. Knowing what we do today, about asbestos, it is hard to believe how often people used such mats. They were made from the asbestos, with a rim of metal, & fit over the elements to keep the heat down.
She made wonderful Yorkshire Pudding, & a dish called Toad in the Hole, which had fat sausages placed in the midst of a dish of Yorkshire pudding batter, & cooked in a really hot oven. It was divine, back then, & the sausages would come out crisp & brown, in the middle of the wonderful light puffy pudding. I would never dream of eating such a dish today!!
She always made a pudding of some sort, & often in winter it was a steamed pudding or Jam Roly Poly. Or apple pies. She would spend hours in summer, bottling fruit, peaches, nectarines, plums, pears, & she would make lots jams & they would all be stored out in a huge old Welsh Dresser, which stood in the porch, as the kitchen was too small to accomodate such a large item of furniture! I have no idea what ever happened to that old dresser. I would love to see it again now.
We always had cake to eat, or biscuits, & seemed to be very well fed, even though times were not financially easy. Our Grandmother could make a meal from next to nothing, & we did have our own vegie garden. A neighbour used to go fishing often, & would give our Grandmother fish. She wasted no part of the fish, & would make fish head soup. My brother & I were horrified with that particular dish, & never would try. My brother swears he could smell a mile down the road, when coming home from school! I didn't mind fish, but preferred the only "takeaway food" we knew in those days- Fish & Chips. They were cooked in hot fat, & the batter on the fish would be thick & crisp. But it was such a rare treat I would doubt anyone got fat from having it once in a while!
When our mother took us for a day out at the beach, we would always have the treat of Fish & Chips, usually for tea, & we would sit & eat them out of the greaseproof paper, & newspaper wrapping. No vinegar for us! That was an English fashion that never really caught on in New Zealand. Salt & perhaps a little lemon juice, was about the extent of 'dressing'.
Split Enz, I Hope I Never.