Writing 101: Happy Hour

In South Australia until 1967 pubs closed at 6 o’clock, so there was a “Happy Hour” of sorts between finishing work at about 5 o’clock and “last drinks”, especially on Friday nights.  Dad didn’t go to the pub though instead he went to the Adelaide Central Market, a wonderfully vibrant place selling all kinds of fresh produce. He would arrive home with armfuls of paper bags filled with lovely fresh in-season fruit and the bags would all be lined up on the wall-length Kitchen Dresser. We could help ourselves, except for the bananas. My sister just loved bananas and they would disappear quickly causing arguments so Mum took to hiding the bananas. That sounds like a clever solution but it wasn’t because often by the time we found them they were over-ripe and no one wanted them.

There were other food treats I remember. Mum used to make “mayonaisse” with a can of sweetened condensed milk and vinegar, we all loved to dip our fingers into the condensed milk and lick them. One year Mum decided we’d each get a tube of the condensed milk on our birthdays and we all loved it. I also remember finding threepenny bits in pudding and the worried looks before the last one was found. I think that must have been when our old auntie was living with us, she was a cook, Mum wasn’t. Another treat, for me, was fresh corn from the garden, cooked, covered in butter and eaten straight off the cob. Delicious.

We had birthday parties and Christmas dinners but I don’t remember the food, Friday night fruit was what made me happiest.

Does this ring any bells with you?

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