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Food Preparation

Trixie Pachy interviewed by Edna d'Lima

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Click here to listenGoing back to the range were you responsible for cleaning that?

My Mother used to clean it using Zebo. There used to be a black, I think you can still get it actually, black kind of polish thing with a funny, a brush with a handle on it so you didn't get your hands all black of course. We used to Zebo it and then the, probably people would pay a mint of money for this now because it would be rather la di da, but it wasn't to us. And then we had this thing that my mother used to have to get the whole oven out and carry it into the garden to brush the soot off it, quite heavy, and then come and manhandle it back into its hole.

I suppose if you got to know it and had enough money and could get the coal going when you wanted to, the heat you exactly wanted, you probably could do some wonderful cooking with it. But everything was very basic, fish in the oven, the odd cake. Cakes were made with carrots in those days because we were told carrots were good for you. Nutty cakes, loads of carrots used to go into the cake. And so, I know the cake tins sometimes were old biscuit tins. You would line them with paper and use it as a cake tin. But the range was really a horror, an absolute horror.

Click here to listenWe didn't have electrical appliances at all, even out toast we used to toast on the gas stove. You know, the grill on the back, used to put the bread under that. My brother said he didn't want to do that because he could taste gas in it, which was ridiculous, but he said he could in toast under gas. So we didn't have electric toasters or anything like that at all. Funnily enough I can't ever remember in my friends houses anything more modern. I don't think anybody was avaricious. It was just a way of life, in those days, quite basic, and as I've told you I don't like cooking. So even now I've got quite a lot of mixers and things but they're all wrapped in paper in the cupboard, because I don't want to know about them. But they are there.

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