Make mine curried

19:52, Sep 13 2012
Curried sausages
Curried sausages, perfect for a cold day.

Oops, the brain must have missed the memo regarding not racing to the supermarket around 5pm for just a couple of items. Must become better organised!

I am not sure what others do while waiting in the queue? Perhaps have a chat or plan the evening meal or perhaps hopelessly like me think back to the days pre-supermarkets when you only went to the grocery shop for a top-up (as I am today) because your weekly order was delivered to your door.

This thought immediately takes me back to the Grasmere days of the late 1950s and 60s when there was the option of a morning or evening newspaper - along with the pink-coloured covered pages of the Saturday evening Sports News.

The queue doesn't seem to be getting any shorter.

A jingle comes to mind regarding more than three in a queue. Oops, alas wrong supermarket so back to thinking about the Saturday sports.

Many of the young 'uns from the Grasmere area (like myself and siblings) had a stint at selling the Saturday evening sports newspaper door to door - a great little earner of pocket money.


A couple of the regulars who purchased the sports news were the Duchess and Duke of Grasmere (aka Noeline and Clarry Acker) who spent 50-plus years living in Palmer St and like so many others who lived in Grasmere have seen many changes in the way we do our grocery shopping over the past half century.

The area was well served with two grocers, two butcheries, a drapery and later a dairy and a fish and chip shop. Both grocers and one of the butcheries offered deliveries to the door as required. The weekly order would be handwritten (ours often on the wrapping paper from previous order) and dropped to the store the day prior to delivery.

Flour came in a flour bag which was then washed and used to wrap the cheese, ham or bacon which was kept in the safe.

Milk and cream were delivered early each morning with the fruit and vegetables available from the delivery van two days a week.

Most homes in the area back then were single-vehicle homes so home delivery was essential.

Most of the kids growing up in the area had bikes, with all the shops having bike stands outside.

In addition, most of the stores had delivery bikes with local lads earning some pocket money performing home deliveries after school.

Home pickups were also essential with all the homes having solid fuel fires (which generally heated water) so the ash man's weekly pickup was appreciated, as was the night cart weekly pickups as all the homes had long drops.

The kitchen equipment list was somewhat different with the only electric article likely to be a drop-sided toaster. Now there was a challenge - no automated pop-up - you needed to turn over each slice of toast once the first side was cooked.

And, yes, the aroma of burnt toast was commonplace.

By the 60s most homes would also have had a Kenwood cake mixer with electric fry pans and pressure cookers being added during the mid-60s.

Meals were simple, generally meat, potato and three veg with a pudding to follow in the evening. By today's standards the vegetables, while fresh, were likely to have been overcooked.

A firm favourite of mine back then, and one that was presented to us reasonably often, was curried sausages. We would have been sent to Cundalls Butchery for about 16 sausages after school, or later, when we had a fridge, the sausages would have been delivered with the weekly order.

The dish would have been made the old-fashioned way by first boiling the sausages then using the liquid as the stock for the sauce.

These days we would make the curry sauce (with a good tasty packet mix) and then add the cooked sausages.

Let's go back in time and enjoy some old-fashioned curried sausages the way our mums cooked them.

CURRIED SAUSAGES (for 4 portions)

8 raw beef sausages

1 good sized onion, peeled and roughly chopped

1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped

1 tsp curry powder

1 Tbsp flour

1 Tbsp cornflour

1 Tbsp fruit chutney

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method: Place the sausages in a pot, and cover with cold water. Slowly bring to the boil.

Add onion and carrot and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sausages are cooked.

Mix curry powder, flour and cornflour to a paste with a little cold water, add to the pot while stirring to thicken.

Add chutney and adjust seasoning.

Serve with vegetables.

Graham Hawkes runs Paddington Arms at the Queens Dr/Bainfield Rd roundabout.

The Southland Times