Browse Nourish Stories by Keyword

A Blessed Afternoon Tea

Maggie Mackay

The table is set, clothed in embroidered white doves
and matching napkins. There are silver pastry forks
beside bright Royal Albert plates, three places,
my mother not quite sure where she should sit.
The room fills with scents of dried fruit,
Ruth and Miriam’s familiar sweets,
and home-made raspberry jam’s modern sweet,
wafts of white sugar and farm butter.

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Keywords (not used): 
Poem, treats, baking, sweets, family, a cuppa

A Burns Supper

Stephen Murphy

The smell of haggis, totties and turnip wafted through the living room. We had just moved to this three-bedroomed semi in November of ‘84 after thirty years in a tenement in Possilpark, where Mum had brought up five of a family. She had a Burns Night every other year but this was the first one I had really taken notice of. It was like a house warming for her as well. There were roughly sixteen people there that night, but we fitted better than we ever would’ve in the old tenement.

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Keywords (not used): 
scotland, food traditions, family, memories, cooking, Scots

A Good Thing Wrapped in Another Good Thing

Johnny Owens

I woke up the morning after, bleary eyed and nauseated, stomach still raw from the night before. It was 6.00pm and I'd been asleep for sixteen hours. I propped myself up on my elbows before easing my way into a sitting position. I looked around at the room I'd grown up in while a sense of icy dread settled in the pit of my stomach, as the realisation began to set in. In that moment, I longed to melt back into those few seconds after I woke. That place – found after hours in a deep sleep – where the reality of this world, this place, is entirely uncertain to you, if only for a brief moment.

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Keywords (not used): 
family, love, difficult times, sweets

A Literary Diet

Liz Power

My mum, a Yorkshire farmer’s wife, was a frustrated bookworm – more interested in words than food. She was an accomplished juggler of a full-time job as a midwife, rounder-up of escaped cows and mother of four children.

Our household extended to six when my aunt, uncle and two cousins came to live with us for a while, in that foodie desert era, known as the 1970s, where the height of gastronomic sophistication appeared to be dried Vesta curries, Smash Mash and Black Forest Gateau.

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Keywords (not used): 
stories, family, childhood, cooking, memories, parenthood

A Moment with Mary Shaw

John Marletta

Mary Shaw told me this story, stressing that despite her age she was not present in the audience. During World War Two a nutritionist was sent from London to help the women of Glasgow make the most of any local food produce. The woman held a presentation in a Glasgow hall that was well attended and among her themes was the making of soup from fish bones. The soup was prepared and after the demonstration, questions were sought. From the audience a woman asked the only question that day – “What happened to the rest of the fish?”

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A Nourishing Start

Liz Denny

I am a child of Labour’s post-war welfare state. The children who were to have their diet supplemented with calcium from free milk, and vitamins A, B, C and D, contained in free ‘welfare foods’, ensuring our future growth and development. We were to be a healthier, better-nourished generation.

For my parents, who experienced the ‘hungry thirties’, having children of their own who were well nourished was at the forefront of their mind, it was part of their dream for a better society.

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A One Woman Cottage Industry

Alan Ling

When I think of food I often think of my mum.

Folk say “ye cannae beat your ma's cooking”, and I find that statement most agreeable when I look back at all the soups, stews, roasts, curries, salads and cakes she whipped up for our wee family.

I love food, and at 33 years old I will eat and enjoy pretty much anything – be it the filthy (battered macaroni cheese), the pretentious (flavoured ‘foams’) or the rather unnecessary (rancid shark meat).

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a plate-licker

Donal McLaughlin

...he wouldn’t’ve started school yet and he started at the age of four mind and his Mammy Cluskey was still alive at the time, obviously, cos it was her made the salad.

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Keywords (not used): 
childhood, stories, family, Grandparents

A Poke o' Buns


We bide aside the scuil. Oor mammy canny streetch tae scuil denners, sic we aye cam hame fir hame-makkit soup an breid, an, noo an than, puddin.

The kitchen is cauld the day. Awthing wis aw’richt when we win awa this mornin, bit noo somethin’s wrang; the day thur’s nae soup, an oor granny’s sittin worryin the side o hur face wi hur fingers. Granny says oor mither hud givin oor ludgers thur breakfast, then cryed oan the doactor. An ambulance cam fir hur. She didnae pit oot oor lunch.

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Keywords (not used): 
Scots, family, childhoood

A Quick Shop in the Co-Op

Alexander Hamilton

We were abandoned by our mother in our early teens; not that she left home, but following on from the death of my father, she went into mourning for the rest of her life. So we lived semi-detached lives, next door to where Fate and Bad Luck sat playing cards. If we were hungry she would indicate the general direction of the kitchen or any other area in which we might have felt a need.

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