Sunday Tea, Recipe, Bacon and Egg Pie

A few weeks ago we had the family over for Sunday lunch, nine adults, four grandkids. My wife as usual turned out a cracking meal, Roast beef and lamb – The grandkids prefer lamb – roast potatoes, roast parsnip, cauliflower, small boiled potatoes, carrots and of course Yorkshire puddings with gravy and mint sauce for the lamb. All prepared and cooked by my long suffering wife, the only exception being the Yorkshire puddings which were precooked by "Aunty Bessie" and only needed to be heated in the oven. If you haven’t tried "Auntie Bessie’s" Yorkshire puddings, try them, they taste so good and are so reasonably priced that it isn’t worth the time and effort of making your own.

Anyway after singing the praises of "Aunty Bessie," I am blithering on as usual and need to get to the point. Well, after overindulging, also as usual, I sat with the two great grandmothers; my mum and my mother-in- law and we began to reminisce about Sunday teatime in those far off days when I was a lad. Everything then seemed to be home made and I might be wrong, but to my mind, while the purse wasn’t deep, the table always seemed to be laden with goodies.

In those far off days no one, as far as I can remember, was on a diet and everyone wasn’t obese, in fact there seemed to be less people of goodly proportions about then. Now that I think about it, the lack of hygiene regulations in the grocer’s – bacon and hams hanging from the ceiling, butter in wooden barrels, great round cart wheels of cheese, loose tea, sugar, flour and a vast variety of dried goods, all packaged or cut and wrapped by hand, with nary a rubber glove in sight – didn’t do us any harm and none of us ever seemed to suffered from food poisoning. Yet in today’s modern world preoccupied with hygiene, health, sell by dates, and warnings on food preparation, people do come down with it.

There you are, I’ve had my bit to say about modern versus the old days, not that I’m against the modern day in general, we have better housing, better medical care, shorter working hours and better wages, but do we have better food? Maybe it’s my rose tinted specs, but I like to think not.

So back to the spread on a typical Sunday teatime when I was a lad living at home. Home baked bread buns, with butter and jam. At least two plate pies, such as bacon and egg, mince and onion, cheese and onion, corned beef and potato, steak and kidney, all baked on enamel plates used solely for that purpose. Pickles, beetroot and sauce to go with them, and of course the sweet stuff. There was always one large sweet pie or tart and a variety of smaller cakes or tarts. As to the larger variety, the selection might be Apple Pie, Blackberry and apple pie, a custard tart or a treacle tart and the smaller, jam tarts, sweet mince tarts, coconut hay stacks, teacakes, currant scones, biscuits and little cakes with icing on the top.

Mum said my favourite was bacon and egg, and I had to agree, even though I remember being partial to cheese and onion. Come to think of it, I liked all of the rest too. The only thing I can ever remember not liking as a lad was butter beans and I still had to eat them, because I wasn’t allowed to leave the table until my plate was empty.

I know, I’m waffling again, so I’ll come to the point, after two hours listening while the matriarchs discussed the finer points of cookery, I managed to get the recipe for the bacon and egg pie. As a male with no skill in the culinary arts, other than to consume the finished product, I have reproduced said recipe below and since my mother is always right, it will be my fault if it turns out wrong.

Bacon And Egg Pie

Serves 4

Ingredients for short crust pastry

8 oz plain white flour ¼ teaspoon salt 2 oz lard 2oz hard margarine 2 tablespoons cold water

Mix flour and salt in a bowl, cut lard and margarine into small pieces, add them to the bowl and rub between the fingers until mixture is like fine bread crumbs. Add water; stir until mixture begins to bind. Then use your hands to knead lightly until the dough is formed.

Roll out on floured board, grease 8- inch pie tin and line with pastry, leaving enough pastry for a lid.

Filling ingredients

8 oz bacon

2 large eggs

A shake of pepper

Half pint milk

Cut bacon rashers in half, fry on gentle heat for five minutes, do not crisp, drain off fat.

Place eggs in basin add pepper to taste, add milk and whisk gently together.

Cover base of pie with bacon, pour on egg mixture.

Cover with pastry lid, crimp edges, cut two small slits in top and brush with milk.

Bake in moderate oven, Gas mark 6 / 400° F / 200° C for 30 minutes.

Copyright Fred Watson 2007

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About The Author, Fred Watson
Fred Watson published his first book, a fantasy adventure novel aimed at the 8-12 age group, in November 2006. A grandfather of four, he loves to write for all age groups, has an abiding interest in history and continues on a regular basis to add new stories etc to his website. Footprint Publishing