23 July 2008

Tiger Tails, anyone?

The other day I came across a list of what the tuck shop at my school stocked in May 1968:

Crisps (plain, cheese and onion, salt and vinegar, Oxo, chicken, and smoky bacon)
Wagon Wheels
Captain Scarlet biscuits
Chocolate digestive biscuits (plain and milk)
Capri biscuits
‘Tiger Tails’
(Twiglets too, sometimes)

So that’s the healthy eating options taken care of, then…

Not that school dinners at the time were a whole lot better, as just about anyone who ate them will remember. They should really have been described as ‘heritage food’, as they still fairly faithfully reflected their Edwardian origins:

Monday: Liver and bacon, potatoes, carrots; jam tart, custard
Tuesday: Rissole, potatoes, peas; jam roly poly, custard
Wednesday: Shepherd’s pie, swede; blancmange
Thursday: Steak and kidney pie, potatoes, carrots; rice and apple
Friday: Fish and chips; fruit salad, custard

But then as now, the financial pressures on the school cooks who fed us were considerable. They had derisory budgets to buy the food with, and perhaps it was no surprise that they occasionally came up with the odd, well, oddity, such as hamburger shortcake (scones on greasy mince) or fruit cocktail flan (a few pieces of tinned fruit in a glutinous sauce on stiff pastry). They did some good things too - the fish wasn’t bad, actually, and always fresh, as school was in the east coast port of Lowestoft; but my real favourite was cheese and potato pie, which was so smooth I think it must have been made with mashed potato and cheese sauce.

Anyway, see you at the tuck shop afterwards…


Jilly said...

Now that brings back memories! Weren't Wagon Wheels so much bigger then? What were Tiger Tails? I seem to remember sausages weren't too bad. The beefburgers resembled nothing so much as a tablemats as I recall.
I can also remember from another school I went to, the jelly which bounced when you dropped it! I think someone had put too much gelatiine in it!!

NAM said...

I thought it might do that :-) Remember how we always got all the cloves between us when it was apple pie? Love the sound of the bouncing jelly, though probably for play value rather than something to eat...

More mysteries - what was rainbow pudding? Was it bits of all the others combined? There's also mention of 'concrete' as a pudding, which I seem to recall as being a bit like a rather dry brownie.

Yes, Wagon wheels were thicker and larger and definitely had more chocolate on them. I have no idea what Tiger Tails were, or Capri biscuits, or Goblins, come to that. If I hadn't written it down, the list would probably have stopped at crisps, wagon wheels, choc digestives and twiglets!

I am currently writing down as much as I can remember about being at school, which is rather a lot. Mostly good fun, though!

Jilly said...

Now I think I do remember what Capri biscuits were - round with chocolate on and creamy filling - wrapped in foil. Goblins were something similar probably. Rainbow pudding? I think I always assumed it was leftovers! Concrete was somehting like chocolate brownies - obviously they didn't know how to make them properly.
School days - yes I can probably remember quite a bit if I put my mind to it.

Jilly said...

Yes - and the cloves!! I never understood that one - we'd always have them lined up on our plates and everyone else would be saying they hadn't realised there were any. But then I always find all the bones in fish!