So in a week where George Martin died, my mother in law was mowed down in a hit and run invalid carriage incident and is now in hospital with a broken hip, and I slipped into my penultimate year before hitting sixty there would seem to be plenty to write about, so why am I asking you to join me in thinking about sausage rolls?
Well, not just sausage rolls; sausage rolls, chips and beans to be exact. This was the food I was brought up on although today it would never occur to me to bring together this trio of delicacies and serve it for a meal. Other great childhood teas included the wonderful egg, chips and beans alongside sausage, chips and beans, the Saturday lunchtime pie, chips and beans, scrummy fish fingers, chips and beans and of course the very special burger, chips and beans. It seemed it was all chips and beans back then, which was good because it meant I was at least getting two of my (yet to come) five a day.
I’m sure that we ate other things, including those dreaded Sunday roasts, but my abiding memory is of things cooked with chips and beans. One of my favourites was rissoles, chips and beans, although I haven’t seen a rissole for years. We also regularly had battered spam, chips and beans (a hangover from the war years I expect) and fish cakes, chips and beans. Of course I didn’t mind. Well why would I want green vegetables (Sunday fare) when there were beans to be had?
This was long before cooking programmes were the norm on TV. Spaghetti bolognaise, curry and chili were not even a rumour in my house and Fanny Craddock used ingredients – like garlic and black pepper – which were not easily come by anyway. Ready meals simply did not exist unless you counted powdered Vesta curries and beans and sausages in a can. Even the humble pizza, now a staple in so many homes, wasn’t available in our High Street.
It really was a different world. It was a world of beans and chips and where that dirty foreign muck was scorned. Of course today isn’t so very different despite having just about every ingredient on earth to hand at the supermarket all year around. Pizza seems to have become the new chips and beans, and burgers now come fast in buns and on the run rather with chips and beans on a plate. We are all preached healthy eating, but most of the time most people don’t, preferring to snack and graze rather than sit down to a meal.
Thinking about it I think there’s a lot to be said for egg, chips and beans. I quite fancy it for my tea.