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welsh-witterings5-4I’m feeling rather nostalgic at the moment, probably as a result of the amount of continued research I am doing on the British Corner shop. The more research I do the more it becomes apparent to me that in our rush to bring about self-service and ‘modern’ style stores we have lost more than just a high street. The traditional grocers shop was more than just a place to buy life’s essentials it was a place where communities met and shops were not faceless.  Before the dawn of convenience foods and widespread refrigeration daily shopping was common and a way life existed that has now vanished.  As I read accounts of people’s memories of their local corner shop and look through my packaging collection and old photographs I welsh-witterings5-3cannot help feeling all sentimental about the British Shop Keeping tradition after all until the end of the 1950s, shop assistants would serve individual customers directly and even after the introduction of self-service stores the independent grocery shop continued to thrive, but now as supermarkets get larger and internet shopping becomes ever more popular ministers warn that British corner shops ‘risk dying out’.

We seem to have gone from a nation of shopkeepers to a nation of takeaway owners and estate agents as the high street becomes awaswelsh-witterings5-8h with fast food outlets and pound shops it is certain that the traditional high street with the butcher, baker, green grocer along with the general store is fast disappearing, the fact is whether you are in favour, unconcerned or angry about the growth of supermarkets in Britain they have altered the way we shop for groceries forever. I do consider the local shop to be social cement that bonds small communities together and I hope that we see resurgence in small independent retailers once again.  If anyone has any memories of corner shops or any photographs of old shops and high streets up to the 1970’s welsh-witterings5-5I would love to hear from you.

Predictably the weather has been wet and wild and so woolly jumpers and hot chocolate have been the order of the week. Thank goodness I am waterproof otherwise I would have shrunk at least five inches from getting well and truly soaked every time I have ventured outside. I must admit there is something rather comforting in the glow of the fire and a steaming hot drink as the rain lashes against the window and the sky is steely grey, but I do hope the weather perks up soon as I am eager to get on with outside projects.

welsh-witterings5-6The 70’s s dinner party food that I made over the weekend went down well, especially with my little ones who took a particular liking to ice-cream gateau and  ice-cream sundae.  The pineapple cubes were out in force and the only thing missing was the presence of kipper ties and polyester flairs. Indeed  devilled eggs, stuffed grapefruits and  brightly coloured salad rings were all present and despite the lurid colours of the dishes on the whole everything tasted good.  I think a revival of 60’s and 70’s food is just what is needed to cheer us up amongst all this dreary weather, besides I rather like Babycham, although I’m not sure I should be admitting to that.

welsh-witterings5-7Well dinner won’t make itself so I’ll bid you a fond farewell until next week.

Da bo ti  (good bye)
Seren

 

 

About Seren Charrington-Hollins

ABOUT SEREN-CHARRINGTON-HOLLINS Describing my work through just one job title is difficult; because my professional life sees me wear a few hats: Food Historian, period cook, broadcaster, writer and consultant. I have a great passion for social and food history and in addition to researching food history and trends I have also acted as a consultant on domestic life and changes throughout history for a number of International Companies. In addition to being regularly aired on radio stations; I have made a number of television appearances on everything from Sky News through to ITV’s Country House Sunday, Holiday of a Lifetime with Len Goodman , BBC4’s Castle’s Under Siege, BBC South Ration Book Britain; Pubs that Built Britain with Hairy Bikers and BBC 2’s Inside the Factory. Amongst other publications my work has been featured in Period Living Magazine, Telegraph, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Great British Food Magazine and I write regularly for a variety of print and online publications. I am very fortunate to be able to undertake work that is also my passion and never tire of researching; recreating historical recipes and researching changing domestic patterns. Feel free to visit my blog, www.serenitykitchen.com