From Ngaire’s journal 16th May 1955
‘I bought enough meat to last until Friday to save going out again. It is lovely to have the refrigerator.’
The 16th May 1955 was a Monday (if Ngaire was excited by refrigeration, goodness knows what she’d have made of Google), so she would have been buying meat for four dinners (Friday being fish night and no night being in any way vegetarian).
I’m quite fond of a bulk shop — I’ve inherited some sort of instinct for hoarding and economies of scale. The Victoria Market is especially dangerous: I can’t resist the butchers’ frantic shouting (‘out they go!’, ‘look at these lovely chops!!’, ‘they won’t last at this price!!!’) and end up dragging home enough meat to last six months: lamb back-straps for souvlaki, pork belly to bake (Maggie Beer has an amazing recipe with a Seville Vino Cotto glaze), steak to throw on the BBQ, beef and chicken to stir-fry, mince for emergencies, an assortment of sausages and maybe a roast.
According to Mum, Ngaire had a much simpler formula for keeping the family’s iron levels up and expenditure down. First a leg of lamb: roast on Monday, cold left overs with salad on Tuesday then the rest turned into Shepherd’s Pie on Wednesday. Thursday might have been a beef stew (with dumplings), baked lamb chops, corn beef or perhaps crumbed sausages.
You’d think it would take a seriously big leg of lamb to feed four people for three nights, but Mum says they had small servings of meat and plenty of vegetables. A pudding every night would have helped too! I’m going to try for two nights — a traditional roast then a Shepherd’s Pie. We might be aching for some tofu after that.