Sunday 23 March 2014

Peanut Butter.

When I was growing up just after the end of the second world war, many things were still rationed. Butter was one of them. So it was with great interest that our family opened a food parcel sent to us from Canada, which contained a jar of peanut butter. 

This was not the smooth, well mixed product that we buy today, but a rather dry paste, measuring two thirds of the jar, topped by some peanut oil. To use it, it was necessary to mix it for quite a while with a knife.

My mother had no real notion of how to serve this spread, as she had never seen any during her lifetime.

However, she knew what butter was and she latched on to that word. Because it was butter, we were not allowed to spread our bread with dairy butter before applying the peanut butter. Consequently, the bread with peanut butter that we were given, tasted dry and sticky.

For many years after that, I was not at all partial to peanut butter. Only when, in later years, we discovered that it tasted great on bread on top of dairy butter, did I become a confirmed fan. 

My idiosyncrasy of also applying chilli sauce to peanut butter sandwiches, would have seemed mind-blowingly strange to my sheltered mother.


Sunday 16 March 2014

Elderly Jeans.

At Cowick Barton during lunch yesterday, a troop of twelve elderly ladies arrived and took the next table to me.

They all appeared to be over eighty, but were sprightly enough with the aid of their sticks. I was struck by how well groomed and lively they seemed. They were organized and articulate and they were enjoying themselves.

Fashion trends go with age groups. Here were displayed neat permed and rinsed hair, sensible cardigans and large costume jewellery with silken scarves.

I must confess that I found the sight of three of them wearing neat, unfaded jeans, incongruous. Undoubtedly practical perhaps, but to me, it seemed like an unseemly repudiation of passing years and good dress sense.   

At least none of them were wearing trainers.