I’m writing this whilst eating breakfast at my desk, so thought I would tell you about breakfast when I was a child.
As I have said, bringing up four children on one income was no easier in the 1970s than it would be today. One of the ways that my parents made sure that we were well fed without it costing them a fortune was to ensure that we always had plenty to eat at breakfast time.
By that, I do not mean that we had a full fry up every day. I don’t think I would want that now, let alone back then. Breakfast was, in our own way, a three course feast, though.
First of all, there were the cereals. Cornflakes, Weetabix and Shredded Wheat were always on the table, and there would also be something like Shreddies or Rice Krispies as well. In addition, there would be something sugary, such as Sugar Puffs or Coco Pops (but never Frosties or Ricicles, as Mum and Dad objected to paying for a cereal which was little more than something they already bought with sugar on the top). Grape Nuts were occasionally available as a crunchy topping, and in later years muesli was added to the mix, too.
The rule was originally that you could have as many helpings of cereal as you liked, but never more than one of the sugary cereal. This was later amended to ‘up to three helpings’, probably because I was eating anything up to five.
The second course would then be toast, usually with Mum’s home made marmalade, delicious and bitter just as Dad likes it.
Finally, if you still had room, there were yoghurts. Not just any old yoghurts, but what the supermarkets call ‘French set’ yoghurt made by Mum in her own yoghurt maker. To these we added either banana or strawberry flavoured syrup, something which I do not recall ever having seen in the shops since and therefore have no real idea as to what they were or where they came from.
There was one other curious ritual which had to be observed. The cream at the top of the milk had to be shared out equally between all five of us who were eating breakfast (Mum rarely ate breakfast with us) and woe betide and smart-assed child who thought that the whole silly issue could easily be put to bed by simply shaking the milk bottle so that the cream was evenly distributed through it anyway. Boy was I unpopular that morning.
Anyway, enough about me. What was breakfast like in your house?