A simple food but it meant so much to me, memories now of a lovely Lady. When I was young and kept under control, if I were to say strict Irish Catholic Parents, in particular Mother, does that explain? We lived in a large House, part only, had the Flat downstairs. No one was allowed in to play with me, I had an older Sister, “That’s all you need” my Mother would say, but my Sister was as miserable then as now. I became a Loner, a Loner to this day, I like it that way used to it.
This was the 1950s, I Had a Friend who lived next door, she had one younger Brother, and a little Poodle Dog. Her Parents were lovely in particular her Mother who to me was so beautiful and she wore makeup (that dreaded makeup my Mother would boast she never had a need to wear any) my Friend’s Mother was always kind to me. One Friday afternoon I was invited to go and play with my Friend, my Mother reluctantly agreed, and when I was asked “Would you like to stay to Tea” I was so pleased yet I can hear my Mother’s words to these days, referring to me she said “as long as she behaves herself, you have my permission to hit her Pat (the Mother of my Friend) if she does not”. Pat looked at my Mother, smiled and said “I would never do that Mary (my Mother) I don’t believe Anna would do anything wrong” how right she was I was too terrified, scared of my own shadow some would say. I was also terrified of the Bamboo Cane my Mother would use on my Back and Thighs.
When we were called to Tea, it all looked so different so great, it was a Salad but not like any salad I ever had before, instead of the normal little lettuce my Mother would buy in the local Market, this was a long leaf I had never seen before, Pat whispered it was called a Cos Lettuce, also on the plate were these funny shaped little pieces of cheese which tasted so creamy and really yummy, I was told they were Kraft Dairylea Triangles, I have never forgotten them and when I had my own two Boys and I would do a salad in the garden for them in the summer they got so sick of the Dairylea Triangles.
I asked my Mother the next time we had a salad, I would have to go to the Market with her I was told Cos Lettuce cost too much and Dairylea Triangles, well forget them, next time I had them was when I bought them. No Coleslaw ever appeared on our table either or the other “fancy bits and pieces” as my Mother referred to them passed my lips. Don’t get me wrong I never went to bed hungry, my Mother did her best she was a plain cook and the same food was repeated the following week. Plenty of Potatoes in our House, I still use a lot of pots myself, Irish in me. Every Christmas my Uncle would send the Turkey over to us, that’s before all the restrictions came about. Christmas Day this huge gorgeous tasting Turkey, all the way from Ireland, I did not want to think about it running in the fields!!
Its strange how little things like a Kraft Dairylea Triangle can bring tears to my eyes. How I envied the the Children around me watching Fireworks, I was banned from looking out of the window, watching Children playing in the Snow throwing snowballs I was kept inside – I “would get wet and cold”. I made sure my Children played, rolled did whatever they wanted in the Snow.
To this day if I see a Grandmother out with her Daughter and the child, I fill up to cry even just typing about it, my Mother only ever ONCE came out with me and Her new Grandson, her First Grandchild back in June 1979 – after that she would never go out with me, I would ask and ask and all I ever heard was “I have too much cleaning to do”, so when I see a Nana, Mummy and Child together smiling talking/laughing, I cry. I have no Grandchildren, my eldest Son does not want any, and even though my youngest Son says “one day”, time is moving on. I so would love to hold a Grandchild of my own, play with a Grandchild, be called “Nana” – give all the Love I have to my Grandchild (My Mother had two Grandchildren, my two Sons, yet she did not want them), Life can be unfair.