Nostalgia 2.

My friend DM who lives in England posted this on his Facebook page:

“We went for a walk this p.m. and were reminiscing…. got to comparing our childhood with “These days”…. We came up with a list of things that were not available to we mere mortals back in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s….
Chinese Gooseberries (now called Kiwi Fruit)
(all sorts of things…)
Funny how I can recall the fruit..
So…. what didn’t you have when you were growing up? What was only available in tins (cans)?”

I had responded with:
“The only thing that I remember coming out of a can was a cooking medium called Dalda. Everything else was bought and consumed with hardly anything being stored other than rice, pulses and flour. We did not have refrigerators. So everything perishable was bought at need and used up immediately.”

And DM’s response was simply mindblowing and brought back other memories with which many of my regular readers will connect.

“My parents bought their first ‘fridge in (about) 1958. The mechanism started to leak gas two days after the warranty expired….. other wise we had a stone shelved larder in most of the cottages we lived in.

A lot of foodstuffs were preserved by bottling (canning), beans were salted …. we even salted runner beans in the 1970s when we were first married….other tricks were used… eggs were preserved in isinglass (from sturgeons’ swim bladders) and milk was kept cool buy dint of evaporating water from a cloth covering the bottle or can.
We were never rich enough to afford the land to build an ice house…


To reflect back on those days without refrigerators and other modern conveniences has been quite a nostalgic trip. It took me to many other thoughts some of which can be found in this blog post.”

6 thoughts on “Nostalgia 2.”

  1. I know, we take so much for granted Ramana in the comforts of today we lose track of what used to be. I had a similar childhood to your friends. eggs preserved in isinglass, runner beans in a huge jar of salt in a dark place, etc.

    Thanks for the reminder 🙂

    1. Not only do we take so many things for granted but, another very important aspect of being in touch with old friends and relatives of around the same age is the frequent revisiting of those days. Those memories just won’t die away.

  2. I remember seldom having fresh fruits and few fresh vegetables through the cold seasons where we lived in snow country. Fresh oranges, citrus were an expensive luxury at the holidays if shipped in from our warmer states where they grew. Lucky were the people who had friends or relatives who would gift them by mailing boxes of oranges from their trees. Refrigerators were much more prevalent in the U.S. I think as I don’t recall never having an electric one. Mother grew up on a farm and talked of the days without such then — they had an outdoor cellar where meats and some foods could be kept through the cold snowy winter; vegetables and some fruit grown and canned; jams and jelly preserves made in their season for later eating; apples kept in the cool to last through the winter ’til next season. Before refrigs. in town folks had ice boxes kept cold by regularly purchasing huge blocks of ice delivered to their house.

  3. Everyone had a vegetable garden, and nearly always chooks (chickens). My older brother when he bought his farm had a house cow – so cream, butter and milk with a manual machine to produce that; he also ran a thriving egg business for the town folks. If you didn’t have a veg or orchard, you bought your stuff from the Fruiterer who was most usually from India – yep, Ramana lots of Indians here in the 50/60/70s who nearly always got into this type of business…nearly all of them was named Bhana (have no idea if that was their actual name) but you always heard people say Bhana will have it in stock.

    I lived in a very rural town, Taumarunui (on the central plateau)

    One of things we didn’t have was sliced bread in a plastic sleeve thing – you bought a loaf of bread, wrapped up usually in brown paper and you owned a bread knife (I still have my Mother’s bread knife)

    Lots of things came in brown paper bags like your eggs – no specialised trays for them, so they wouldn’t break, n/a. Milk came first in a billy can, the guy would arrive with even bigger cans and scoop it out, then came glass bottles …

    There was very little plastic, I don’t think I ever saw it…the closest would be cellophane
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