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Monday, 11 February 2013

mealy monday

my parents were born in aberdeen, scotland. when we were growing up we spent two weeks every summer in aberdeen visiting our grandparents, great aunt and uncle, aunties, uncles and cousins. 

each year we would stay with my mum's parents. my brother and i would share the bunk beds in the little room with the tall stack of records my uncle graham had left behind. i remember they were all 7" singles and none of them had sleeves. i don't remember ever playing them as i don't remember a record player in the room. my grandparents house had coir matting in the hallway and stairs, to a little girl who never wore (and who still doesn't wear) slippers that memory somehow makes it near the top of the list every time; scratchy matting on soles that had yet to harden. i also fondly remember my grandmas love of ornaments. i remember coloured glass ashtrays and bowls, vases and little brass bells all lined up in every nook and cranny and on every windowsill in every room.

my main memory of my grandparents house was every sunday the whole family would go round for lunch. i remember being shocked when i realised that this happened every sunday not just the sundays when we were visiting. why? well my grandparents had seven children, all of them married and most had children, not all of them still lived in aberdeen but the majority did, for us it was a great way to see everyone in a big swoop but grandma did this every week. a full house without us would be ten adults and six children, with us it swelled to twelve adults and nine children. it would all start on saturday. grandma would go for her "messages" (shopping to us kids that were brought up in england) and come home and prepare. the meat was always scottish beef and grandma always cooked it the night before while grandpa stood and prepared all the vegetables ready for cooking on sunday. the beef was always served cold with hot vegetables and gravy. there was always more than enough for everyone. the adults would sit around a table which was pulled out from the wall and put up behind the sofa in the living room, the children would have their places set on the main coffee table or tables pulled out from the nest of tables. i remember it being a happy time when the adults sat around chatting, sharing a drink, watching the tv or whatever sporting event was on that day with the kids playing games inside and out. i remember it being an innocent time, a special time for family. i also remember a huge amount of washing up that was done in the large, deep double sink my grandparents had but i also remember the many hands that made light of the work. 

last night we went to meet our cousin kevin who was down from aberdeen with friends and his girlfriend to watch manchester united play. at the end of dinner he slid a bag across the table which contained mealy puddings. this is the other main scottish food memory i have; white pudding suppers. as teenagers we would have white pudding suppers from the "chipper" which were deep fried mealy puddings with chips. don't know what mealy puddings are? find out here. to my mum, brother, sister, and myself these are like gold; we can't buy them in england (although just recently we have found a website that sells them). after trips to scotland we would bring home bags of mealy puddings and aberdeen rolls (that's a whole different story for a whole different day) and mum would freeze them. as kids one of our favourite meals was mince and tatties but our favourite ever meal was mince and tatties with mealy puddings (especially if the pudding burst and went through the mince). that was what we had for tea tonight. there is nothing like having a meal cooked for you after a long working day. a favourite childhood meal cooked for you by your mum on a monday night = heaven. thank you kevin and tracy. and thank you mum.



  1. Hi Emma, it is lovely to hear about your happy memories of Grandma and Grandpa's house! I don't seem to have much memories of my own from Abbey Square as I suppose I was too young. Therefore it is great to hear yours, thank you :-)

    Hope you are all well!
    Love Lynn x

    1. Lynn - so lovely to hear from you here! Abbey Square was the house I remember best but of course you guys will remember Bervie Brow best I'm sure - you & Ash could regale us with your memories of stovies with Grandma & Grandpa - I'd love to hear that.

      We are all good here, hope you guys are too. Thanks for commenting & letting me know you were here - such a lovely surprise! Lots of love Emma x

    2. Tuesday lunch time, stovies! A very happy memory of mine! I will always remember how Grandpa and Ash would make a well like hole in the middle of their stovies and fill it with gravy! Grandma would always give me two sweeties to take back to school with me, one for me and one for my friend who I met on the way! My Mum and Dad were round for their tea last night and a very old episode of bullseye happened to come on the tv. It reminded me of being at Grandma's, my mum explained that it would be on when we would be there on a Sunday! We spoke about a toffee sponge cake that Grandma would always put out for us, it was so yummy!! I have been known to look for it in markies but sadly I don't think they make it anymore!

      We are all good too thanks!

      Love Lynn xx

    3. Oh Lynn you have reminded me of something else I loved in Grandma's house - the sweetie cupboard. She always had a carrier bag full of sweets & she would pull them out & give us choices - we never ever took only one - such happy memories. My Mum is the same - she has a sweetie drawer in her kitchen which all the grandchildren ask her about - I'm sure your Mum has too. So lovely to hear your stories of stovies on a Tuesday - until I wrote this post I didn't think about how many food memories I have of growing up - thanks for helping me remember even more. Love Emma x