Halloween is over, so that means our thoughts start to turn to the Christmas menu.
This made me think of a recent chat I had with my neighbour, Norrie.
He told me that he recently came upon a wartime menu in the attic of his father’s house in Edinburgh.
Thankfully, his dad was able to shed light on the find.
It turns out that Norrie’s grandfather, Harry, had been stationed out in Africa during World War I.
He brought the Christmas menu back as a reminder of his time there.
How had he found himself so far from home? Well, simply because he was able to drive.
But he found himself first not behind the wheel of a car, but on a long sea journey. His destination was Dar Es Salaam, in present-day Tanzania.
As far as Norrie’s father can recall, he thinks the troops left behind when Harry headed to Africa ended up in France, on the front line. One can only guess at their fates.
Finding that menu gave Norrie a tangible link to his family’s past, and now he has a story that he can pass on.
Right down to what a Christmas menu was like for those serving their country in a far-off land.
Flavour of the times
Recipes can often give a real flavour of the times.
Marion — who looks after the cookery for the “Friend” — discovered as much recently while we were pouring over our magazine’s rich archive material.
She found a goldmine of recipes from Christmasses past, each a reflection of their era. That was how our 150 Years Of Christmas Cookery Special was brought to life.
As for Norrie, well he’ll certainly have a tale to tell over Christmas dinner this year.
And the chance to raise a glass to all those who served their country.
To order your copy of “150 Years Of Christmas Cookery”, visit the DC Thomson Shop.
For a limited time , you can even enjoy a delicious, rich Dundee cake with your copy for just £12.99. Click here for more information.