“What’s your secret?” It’s the question most often asked of people who’ve reached a ridiculously old age, and we all avidly read the answer when such stories appear in the media: “Mr. X, 127, credits his long life to regular tots of rum and a daily pack of smokes.” In fact, I heard recently of one 101-year-old, still living alone, who never misses fixing herself a fried bacon-and-egg breakfast.
During my misspent youth I worked as a barmaid in our local village pub. The Black Horse was a proper “drinking” pub and we did a brisk trade in pints of local beer, restorative tots of rum for the local fishermen and beverages for the “ladies”—Dubonnet and lemonade, snowballs, sweet sherry and the like.
The menu, such as it was, featured a couple of choices of sandwiches, elderly and rather dubious pies, and crisps and peanuts. And that, in 1970s Britain, constituted pub food. Continue reading