Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Boiled Bone Soup at Tesco

participant in Four Acre 'Tesco' workshop
Tesco in Four Acre were kind enough to let us run a workshop in their supermarket, so we (Phil, Lois, Tabitha) duly set up shop. We had cakes, tablecloths, balloons to write on, all of them stark white in contrast to the multicolours of the stacked shelves around us. The memories of food ushered in by the older people we met were also in stark contrast to the plenty on display. Perhaps it's impossible nowadays to imagine the short supply of those wartime childhoods, but the power of telling came through both loud and clear. One man actually shook with anger at the very idea of wasted food: his mother had raised his family on not-quite-enough. They didn't starve, but they certainly were acquainted with hunger, intimately and often.

Go Hungry cake

Hungry? I used to steal potatoes and peas and carrots from farmers' fields. It's what you had to do. (Anon)

Boiled Bone Soup in yellow enamel bowls. No flavour, but it filled. (Marie)

fairy cakes with quotes from Participants written on (then eaten)

War recipes: Irish Stew. No veg, apart from a dirty carrot. A piece of meat the size of an oxo. Hold a leek in the pot for 5 minutes to give extra taste. The next week we made bread. No yeast. (Joan)

The first banana I had was out of a tin. (Jeff)

Short pieces of reminiscence were selected by participants to write onto cakes, napkins and paper tablecloths. More photos at flickr

(A big thank you to Louise Applegate at Tesco for helping to facilitate this session and Tesco's for providing the materials for the workshop.)

A van delivered the tea leaves, another the milk, another the bread....

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