REMINISCENCES OF SHEFFIELD in the 18th Century by R.E. Leader

  • 18 March, 2008 at 19:47 #491

    [html] Chapter 2 – Excerpt.Oatcake and porridge formed staple fare of apprentices, but the one was often mouldy or sour, and the latter too often made with water.A cutler in Allen Street named Barber who had sixteen apprentices was noted, even among the penurious, for his special meanness. It was the custom in his household to make oatcakes in large batches, so that they might be stale enough, when placed before the apprentices to discourage inordinate appetite. The lads when opportunity offered, would snatch an oatcake hot from the bakestone, to enjoy it fresh, and to this end they would hide the stolen morsel, under their shirts, or thrust in the coal hole.As a rare treat there was sometimes for dinner brewis or brewes (oat cakes mixed with dripping and hot water and seasoned with salt and pepper) still the traditional dish when the members of the Cutlers' Company lunch together at the annual swearing in of the Master Cutler. [/html]

    18 March, 2008 at 20:35 #596

    [html] Isn't it strange how times change?On cold mornings in the winter I consider it a treat to begin the day with a bowl of hot porridge…And at weekends, a full breakfast with oatcakes, what luxury!Who would have thought these were staple foods for the less well off?Thanks for your reminiscences Hibiscusgirl. [/html]

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