Shopping days for us were jam packed with grocery shopping, marmalade delivery, doctor visits, library visits, visits to the plant nursery and afternoon visits with friends and family. We would load the Opel up with the boxes of jams and marmalade, get dressed in "town clothes" and head off bright and early.
Salisbury was a beautiful city, sadly not so much now. I remember if full of pretty well kept gardens and roads lined with shady purple Jacaranda and bright red Flamboyant trees. The place to shop was at Meikels or Greatamans. We did our grocery shopping and Bon Marche and we would stop at the Dairy Den for a 99 (ice cream cone with a chocolate flake). We would park in streets named Manica Avenue or Stanley Avenue.
On special occasions, we would go to Barbour's tea-room and I would shiver in excitement as the cake trolley would make its way in between the tables. I always took a raspberry slice and had a soda float. Everybody in Barbour's was properly dressed. I never went into town with farm clothes on... always a pretty dress. Although I was far more a tomboy than a frilly girl, I loved the dress up and pompness of a town visit. I loved getting into the lift and a man dressed in a green uniform and a top hat would tell us what was on each floor.
Sometimes we would visit Aunt Gene, Mama's sister who was a well known artist and many of her paintings hung in the Rhodesian Art gallery. She was an eccentric spinster who had travelled the world. Her little studio was filled with exotic gatherings from strange places and smelt of a mixture of beauty powder and pastel paints. In her bathroom hung silk stockings and Japanese kimonos - it was a magical place and Aunt Gene was a strange yet captivating tiny slip of a woman. Dark hair tied up with chopsticks, so unlike Mama's soft and loose blond curls.
We would make our way home just as the sun was starting to set. I was always crammed between huge bags of sugar, flour and maize meal. I would dream away on the back seat of our little gray Opel, of the beautiful women and handsome gentlemen I saw in Barbour's tea-room, or imagine the faraway places Aunt Gene had been to.
Dinner on these evenings would be Cornish pasties that Mama had made the day before. Kelly would have them warming in the oven for us and we would simply wash up and enjoy the delicious pies with peas and gravy.
Mama's Cornish pasties - actually this is my Great grandmother's recipe
What you need:
- 1/2 kilo beef fillet or rump steak cut into small cubes
- 1 large raw potato cubed
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 carrot cut into small cubes
- Short crust pastry (um sorry Mama...but I am saying shop bought is fine here)
- Salt & pepper
- Few dashes Worcester sauce
- 1 egg
- a little oil
- Fry the cubed meat and onion in a little oil until brown
- Add in the potato and carrots and cook for 10 minutes on a low heat
- Add salt & pepper and Worcester sauce
- Roll out the short crust pastry (about 2 cm thick) and use a saucer to cut out rounds
- Place some of the meat mixture in the middle
- bBush the sides of the pastry with some beaten egg and fold over the pastry. Pinch closed. Place one fork prick in the centre of the pie.
- Brush with the remaining egg.
- Place in hot oven (200 degrees) for ten minutes, then turn down the heat to 150 degrees and bake for a further 30 minutes.
I came across a beautiful blog the other day and although many of the photographs are before my time, you can see the beauty of the city. Do take a look...colonialism is its most beautiful. Picture perfect streets with gorgeous parks and gloriously beautiful museums and buildings. It makes me so sad to see what it looks like now.
But this is not a political blog, these are just my memories and I choose to remember the beauty of my childhood as best as I can.
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