Food, Glorious Food…….

One of my favourite customers recently commented that she is always drawn to the colourways that have foody names. Which made me realise just how many of my colourways do have food or drink inspired names. Just this week alone, Granny Smith (a very British apple,for those wondering), Olive, Oranges & Lemons, Peach Melba, Lemon Drop, and Jaffa.

I love my food, so it’s not surprising that that creeps into my naming. What is surprising is something I read once, from someone at Dulux whose job it is to come up with new colour names. “We try to avoid food related names,” he said. “No one wants to have ‘chocolate’ on their walls.” Umm, excuse me, I would love to have chocolate on my walls. And if you can give me the perfect shade of Sticky Toffee Pudding, I’ll be there.

Anyway. I don’t have a great deal of time for cooking nowadays. So I read about it instead (how do I find the time to read? Good question. I’ll get back to you on that). I do the same with gardening, read about it instead of doing it, but that’s less to do with lack of time, and more to do with not liking to get my hands dirty.

I particularly love vintage cookery books. Traditional British recipes, like steak & kidney pie, treacle tart, toad in the hole (if you don’t know what that is, Google it. How something so utterly delicious got such a foul name, I’ll never know.). I love the idea of invalid food, nurturing little dishes to tempt the invalid’s fancy, and encourage his convalescence. And I’ve got some wonderful vintage American cookery books too, such as the Mrs Appleyard series.

One of the things I like about vintage recipes is their joyful disregard for things like calorie content and saturated fat. The cooks tossed pounds of butter and dozens of eggs negligently into their cakes, then dished them up with a fat dollop of clotted cream. That’s the spirit.

I remember reading a study in a newspaper, where they had a writer follow a diet based on 1950’s menus, for a certain period. This woman was having cooked breakfasts every morning, and puddings after her lunch and dinner. But she was also doing the equivalent amount of exercise that a 1950s housewife would have done, mangling clothes, walking to the shops, beating rugs, etc. She lost weight, even though she was eating far more, (and far fattier) foods than ever before.

My grandmother lived until she was 99 years old, and until the last few years when she lost her sight, lived alone, walked up and down a steep hill to town every day, and looked after herself. Her diet was appalling by modern standards, everything cooked in lard, thick butter on her bread, plenty of salt over everything. She was as strong as a horse.

It’s all very interesting. Shall I create a Treacle Tart diet?

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