Saturday, 24 December 2016

Family history is also about food....

When I was a child, my mother often prepared what she called Baby Dinner, especially on Christmas Eve, saying it was so easy, when she would be preparing the huge Christmas dinner with all the trimmings that was our Christmas Day tradition. At left is how I remember it looking on our dinner plates on Christmas Eve.

This was a meal of ground/minced beef mixed with sliced carrots, absolutely no seasoning, and accompanied by potatoes. She did this for the unsophisticated palates of her four children, but also because my father had a series of stomach ulcers and needed bland.

Baby Dinner was my mother's adaptation of the traditional mince and tatties dinner she had grown up eating, as prepared by my grandmother, Dorothy Young Matheson, English-born but never tell her that, as she was born in Berwick-upon-Tweed, the border town that changed hands many times between Scotland and England. My granny was a Scot through and through. That much was always abundantly clear as soon as she spoke.

This morning on Christmas Eve, I found myself thinking about Baby Dinner, which my siblings and I finally rebelled against, because it was so bland--no, tasteless. I don't remember my mother ever making proper mince and tatties when we were older, which is a shame. I'm going to do the mince and tatties soon, the way the recipe was meant to be prepared, with all the ingredients and seasoning. Here is one recipe I found -- from Scotland of course.

I wonder what happened to my grandmother's recipes. I still make my mother's roast turkey or chicken stuffing, which came from my grandmother: sage, onion, celery, thyme and savoury mixed with diced day old bread. That's made ahead in fact, and sitting on my stove top for tonight.

Merry Christmas to all, and thank you for reading.

The never ending story continues....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016 All rights reserved

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