Times Past Challenge: Chinese Spoons And Eating Out

Dressed to impress in my purple and white midi dress my mother had made for me and  patent leather, navy-blue sling back shoes with block heels, I walked into the dimly lit Chinese restaurant, mesmerised by the brightly coloured lanterns hanging from the ceiling and the soft, almost hypnotic music filling the room.

It was the mid 70’s, I was twelve and staying with my dad for the school holidays in Brighton, and he was taking me and my brother out for dinner.  My first time eating out at a restaurant for an evening meal and, as it turned out, the last time with my dad.

I didn’t know what to order, so Dad ordered what he was having: a bowl of crab and sweetcorn soup.  When the waiter placed the small, deep bowl in front of me, I wasn’t sure at first what to make of the strange, thick-looking soup with the white streaks floating amongst the sweetcorn.

Dad urged me to try it, warning me to be careful as it was very hot, a fact borne out by his steamed up glasses. And then I noticed the white, ladle-like Chinese style spoon placed next to my bowl.  I had never seen such a spoon; its shape and also the unusual design on its base fascinated me.

As a tail-end ‘Baby Boomer’ growing up in 60s and 70s southern England,  eating out at a restaurant for an evening meal just wasn’t done.  The cost was out of reach for my parents and even if cost wasn’t a factor, restaurants were not family-friendly.

The only ‘fast food’ we had, and then as a rare treat, was when my mother left me and my brother in the care of my dad for the day when she took her prized Siamese cats to London for a cat show.  Dad always, I say always, got us fish and chips wrapped in newspaper for lunch, which we ate at home with plenty of salt, vinegar, fat pickled onions and lashings of tomato ketchup.

We didn't eat out as kids, but we did enjoy family gatherings, such as this tea party for a cousin. Me on the right. Always the kid with chocolate on my face. Nothing's changed... (c) Sherri Matthews

We didn’t eat out as kids, but we did enjoy family gatherings, such as this tea party for a cousin’s birthday. Me on the right. Always the kid with chocolate on her face. Nothing’s changed…
(c) Sherri Matthews

Pubs, if you were lucky, offered crisps, peanuts and sometimes a cold sausage roll or curled up ham sandwich on dry, white bread spread with margarine.  Pub meals were not the thing and children weren’t allowed inside.  By the time I was old enough to go with my friends, the only meals on offer, at least in the pubs where I hung out in Ipswich, were scampi, chicken or sausages and chips served in red, plastic-weaved baskets.

But when I was seventeen, my Radio Caroline listening boyfriend took me out for a meal for my birthday to a Berni Inn.

These ‘inns’ were all the rage across the country in the 70’s because they offered all and sundry an affordable, three course meal consisting of prawn cocktail, steak with all the trimmings (in Britain this means mushrooms, peas, grilled tomatoes and chips) and Black Forest Gateau.  Also included was a glass of wine and coffee to follow.  Very swish, we thought.

I remember that night for two things: the black maxi dress I wore, thinking how grown up I must have looked, and the horrendous stomach ache I had later on.  I blamed it on the coffee which never did agree with me. It was a great night out other than that.

But it is the memory of a Chinese meal one night in Brighton that endures:  the soup was delicious, the spoons fascinating and the time with my dad priceless.

*******

This post is written in response to a new and intriguing monthly challenge set by memoir writer Irene over at Reflections and Nightmares:

‘I’d like to invite you to join with me in a prompt challenge that will give us social insights into the way the world has changed between not only generations but also between geographical location. The prompt can be responded to in any form you enjoy – prose, poetry, flash, photographs, sketches or any other form you choose. You may like to use a combination of the two. I will also add a series of questions for those that would like to join in but don’t know where to start.’

Irene will give us her next prompt for February this week, giving me time most generously to squeeze this post in for January’s ‘Eating Out’ prompt (thank you friend!). You can read the other responses to her fascinating challenge here.

*******

Thank you all so very much for your wonderfully encouraging response to my post two weeks ago and for your understanding when I’ve been so lax in posting and visiting your blogs, especially last week.  But this week I’ll do my best to catch up, so get the kettle on and the wine chilling – I’m heading your way, rain, snow or shine!

 

 

 

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
This entry was posted in Family Life, Family Memoirs, Times Past Challenge and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

113 Responses to Times Past Challenge: Chinese Spoons And Eating Out

  1. Denise says:

    We had a treat of fish and chips over the weekend, so I can feel your enjoyment. The kids don’t like pickled onions, but we always had pickled onions with our f&c and isn’t that one addition so evocative of the 70s/80s?
    Lovely memories of eating out, and yes I went to a Berni Inn as a child and ended up with stomach ache, I think it was just the sheer amount of food.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Very…what are f&c without the pickled onions 😉 Thanks Denise, glad you enjoyed the memories. I think you’re right about the amount of food, I wasn’t used to it either! But I still blamed the coffee… !

      Like

  2. esthernewton says:

    Hi Sherri, good to read your post and to see that gorgeous photo!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Charli Mills says:

    I’m thinking about the sadness in that juxtaposition of the first dinner out was with your Dad, but the last time you’d have that with him. The soup has my tummy growling! Great sensory moments shared in your writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you for that Charli 🙂 You know, it wasn’t until I wrote about this memory that it struck me. I’ve had a handful of lunches and cups of tea with him in cafes in recent years as you know, but that seriously was the last time I ever had an evening meal in a restaurant with him. Maybe that’s why that particular memory is so crisp in my mind. Yes, I love that soup to this day!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was 15 before I entered a ‘restaurant’ and was completely overwhelmed by the experience. All I had ever experienced before that was a toasted cheese sandwich in the local coffee bar with my girl friends. Your beautifully descriptive post took me right back! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Until Irene set this challenge of our first memory of eating out in a restaurant, I didn’t give that much thought to it, the Chinese meal always such a part of my life tied up with those years spent visiting my dad in Brighton. But yes, it seems that first restaurant experience is a rite of passage! Thank you so much Pauline, I’m glad to take you back there to your first time! 🙂 xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love reading about childhood memories and the lasting impressions remembered. The Chinese meal sounds exciting and the ambiance colorful. 😀
    I didn’t eat in a restaurant until I started working. Ha ha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Colourful indeed Tess, of which you know all about after last year’s China trip 😀 I will never forget it, although of course I’ve eaten at many Chinese restaurants since then! I’m glad you enjoyed this childhood memory, thank you! 🙂 ~(*-*)~

      Like

  6. Pingback: A New Monthly Challenge:Times Past | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

  7. Heyjude says:

    I’m trying to visualise you in your purple and white midi dress and patent leather, navy-blue sling back shoes! Perhaps as well you don’t have a photo 😉 A bitter-sweet memory Sherri. Your memories of those days are very clear – we always had mushy peas with our fish (sometimes fish-cakes but very good ones not those that are mostly mashed potato) and chips, not onions, and they were also wrapped in newspaper. Thank goodness I managed to avoid Berni Inns! My first steak was in South Africa – no black forest gateau though 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m amazed by your vivid memories from so many years ago. Growing up, my family went to Shakey’s Pizza Parlor. There were long tables, covered in checkered table clothes and live music, typically banjos. Ha! You look so cute in the photo. Have you posted it before? It seem so familiar to me. Lovely post! xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sherri says:

      Oh Jill, I remember all the talk of Shakey’s Pizza Parlor when I first met my American GI…he always talked of Shakey’s! You say about my memory, but you just conjured up the perfect image of it! I remember when we got our first pizza restaurant in Ipswich (no McDonalds back then) and we went mad for the mozarella cheese hanging off in strings! Yes, you are very observant, I’ve posted this pic before, I think it was for a post I did about a girl in a blue dress (it was the same dress I wore as a bridesmaid to my uncle and auntie’s wedding and which my mother made into this party dress 🙂 ) I’m glad you enjoyed it, thanks Jil! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

    • I remember Shakey’s: One of my kids even worked there for a time as teenagers. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Your post brought back memories of eating fish and chips served in newspaper from our local Chippie, most Friday nights. I also loved the scallops and mushy peas. Don’t think I could face them now. 🙂 My dad loved Chinese food too and when we could afford it, he would take us to a Chinese Restaurant in Nottingham. I remember the ‘crispy noodles’ and the ‘Egg Foo Young’. Those items, together with the sweet and sour pork were my favourites. It’s so good to remember such happy times, isn’t it? Love the cute photo of you, Sherri. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Always the fish and chips for me too Sylvia, not the scallops or mushy peas! Those local Chippies, still doing a great trade here, particularly on Friday nights 😀 Oh, I used to be fascinated by ‘Egg Foo Young’. I couldn’t get my head around what it really meant! Gread indeed to remember such happy times, thank you for sharing your memories with me too Sylvia, I really enjoyed them, and thank you re the photo…I remember that day. My brother is opposite 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Marianne says:

    Love your memories of Berni Inns, l remember them too. Have you seen Victoria Wood’s ‘The Day We Sang?’ There is a whole scene in the Berni Inn, it captures it all brilliantly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      I love Victoria Wood, but I don’t recall this particular scene. I will look for it on YouTube! Thank you Marianne, and also I’m so glad you enjoyed sharing Berni Inn memories with me…those were the days, ha! 😀

      Like

  11. Pingback: Times Past: Prompt 2 Women’s Work? | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)

  12. I am so amazed at how you remember every little detail of your Chinese dinner with dad. What a precious memory…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Annika Perry says:

    What an interesting challenge – a piece of social history! Lovely to hear about your early culinary experiences, Sherri! England has certainly come far since then. As young we often visited a Greek restaurant in Ilkley where we became good friends with the owner. I didn’t like much of the food but always enjoyed going out. I’ve heard about these ‘Bernie Inns’ but never experienced them, luckily!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Yes, Irene has set a fascinating challenge, will be so interesting to read her summaries. England has definitely come a long way since then Annika! I remember when I first visited and then lived in America and oh the stick I used to get about the terrible British food! No longer I’m proud to say, ha! Oh, I forgot to mention Ilkley in my email, just remembered, sorry! I don’t remember it for some reason. But I adore Greek food! The first time I had it was in California. That’s the great thing about Brighton having such great choice of restaurants especially since my kids grew up eating out all the time from a young age and experienced everything from Asian, Mexican, Greek, Turkish, and yes, Swedish. We used to love to visit a place called Solvang, home to Danish and Swedish settlers from the early pioneering days. A day out there finished off with a smorgasboard Swedish meal…..oh yummy 🙂 Haha…count yourself lucky not having the pleasure of Berni Inns 😀 Actually, back then we thought the food was pretty good, so I can’t complain!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Mabel Kwong says:

    This was a nice read, and thanks for sharing such a happy part of your childhood with us. The Chinese spoon must have looked very pretty – they really do have such vivid and intricate patterns. I was wondering how the delicious crab soup tasted, sweet or sour or maybe both…

    Fish and chips are always a treat to me. Not only are they food we shouldn’t be eating too often, but they cost quite a bit hear in Australia. A good fish and chip dish would be around $12 and up. It does hurt the pocket 😀 Your boyfriend at that time seemed very kind and every bit of the gentleman. I can only wish for someone like that 😀

    You deserve all the time you need to write your book and work things out that life demands, Sherri. Hope all is well at your end, and big hugs your way ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      I still love my Chinese spoons Mabel! Something to this day so evocative about them. Silly isn’t it? The soup seemed sweet to me at the time, I wouldn’t have touched anything sour but these days I do prefer sour over sweet 😉 Yes, I see your point about fish and chips, they’re a bit cheaper here but definitely not something to be eaten every day! My boyfriend. Well, that was so long ago. He was 19, I was 16 when we met, but when I was 18 I broke things off. Then I met my American GI…and here I am writing my memoir 30 odd years later. Life is a strange thing. You are young, you have so much life to live and you will meet your gentleman, I’m sure of it 😀 Thank you so much as always for your lovely message at the end, so sweet of you. I’m getting there dear Mabel, slowly 🙂 I hope all is well with you, looking forward to catching up with you over at your pad, and a big hug to you too 🙂 ❤

      Like

      • Mabel Kwong says:

        Some memories might be silly but they mean so much to us. Sometimes it is these memories that make us feel whole again.

        Now I really want to eat some fish and chips! Maybe I will treat myself at some point. Haha, with each year that passes I’m getting older…but you never know when that gentleman will appear in my life 😀 Hope you are doing good this week ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sherri says:

          You never know Mabel, you just never know! Never say never, you know that’s my motto 😀 And you’ve got me wanting fish and chips now too, although I confess, we did have some a couple of Fridays ago. And yes, they were delicious. Let me know when you have some, I think you deserve a treat! A good week so far, yes, thank you so much, and I hope for you too! Lovely chatting Mabel, I’ll see you very soon! 🙂 ❤

          Liked by 1 person

  15. TanGental says:

    The first Berni, being a rural buy was Bristol 1976 down in the old town cobbled streets etc. I certainly had a steak and an Irish coffee I expect! Now that was sophisticated. I must have been 19. Why a catch!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Aren’t you a cutie sitting at the table in your dress Sherri?! I love that picture 🙂 You paint a masterful image of you and your brother at the table with your dad. It’s as if the soup is sitting right in front of me with the spoon—I can totally visualize it. It’s so interesting how certain moments are poignant in our lives and have a lasting impression on us. As a side note, the first time that I ate fish and chips was actually last year when Matthew and I were in Gibraltar for our wedding. Quite silly that it took me that long to have the dish, but it was absolutely delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      LOL 😀 Butter wouldn’t melt, right Heather? 😉 I loved that dress and the matching shoes…did you notice the matching, pretty blue shoes? I was mad about them, haha 😀 Oh, this memory does play through my mind so vividly, just that whole time when I used to visit my dad in Brighton and the adventures we had. I suppose I hold onto them as over the following years, he declined due to his alcoholism. I’ll never forget that meal though, and thank you about the description – I’m glad you felt it! I’m so glad you enjoyed your first fish and chips meal with your hubby while away for your wedding…I bet you won’t forget that memory! xo

      Like

  17. What a lovely memory! You tell it so well I felt I was there with you. Our dad would on occasion take us on Sunday drives around Germany and the 4 of us children would dine in lovely places with our parents. Trust me, we were quiet and well behaved all around. I also remember going to a restaurant in Georgia as a family and my youngest brother would always order a hangaburg and a whiskey. Everyone thought it was funny since he was only 2 or 3. You always manage to stir up a memory or two. I can understand how sharing that last meal out with your dad had such an impact. Have a lovely week. I’m still catching up too and will be away from my computer till Friday. 😦 I may survive. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Marlene! Oh those Sunday drives, we used to take those too, I enjoyed them. Germany is beautiful and great food too. Oh I love that.. ‘a hangaburg and a whisky’! That’s so darling! I was about to ask what a ‘hangaburg’ was and then I read on! Reminds me of my boy Nicky who, when about 3 or 4, loved to tell us when he grew up he wanted to be like grandpa and ‘drive a black truck, smoke cigars and drink whiskey’. The funny thing is, grandpa didn’t do any of those things! And also, my mother took me and my brother out for one or two ‘posh’ meals when we were a little older (and like you, we certainly watched our manners!) and at one restaurant, the menu was all in French. The waiter had to decipher – he spoke strong French – and when it came time for my brother to order (he was about 10) he asked for something with chips, but the waiter kept saying ‘frites’. My brother said he didn’t want frites, he wanted chips!! Oh the joy of dining out with kids. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful memories with me, I am still laughing about your little brother in Georgia, that’s a classic. Oh I hope your week goes well and being away from your computer means you are busy enjoying life. I will be over to catch up with your latest right now. Big hugs Marlene, lovely to hear from you 🙂 xo

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I loved your description of “dressed to impress”…so cute! I don’t recall eating out a restaurant with my parents and siblings…there were too many of us (9 children of which I am the youngest). All of our meals were served at home and over the years, as the children married and had their own children, those who were within driving distance continued to come home for a family dinner each Sunday and for special occasions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Haha! Thanks Bev 🙂 That’s the 70s for you! Wow, 9 children? That’s a lot of siblings, but how wonderful. Everyone returning home for family Sunday dinner is my kind of idyl, and something I long for even now, but my boys live too far away to drive over just for the day and of course, for all those years living in American when my family lived in England made it impossible when my children were small. But it’s still so important to eat together isn’t it, small numbers or large, even if it is only once a week 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing your heartwarming family memories with me Bev 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Tom Merriman says:

    Hi Sherri – good to see you back!
    The shape of those spoons fascinate me even now! And you had to go and mention black forest gateau, didn’t you. I’ll be craving that for the rest of the month now!
    Good memories… thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Tom! Ha, yes, me too! I’m so glad I’m not the only one, I always thought I was a bit weird, still do in fact 😉 Ooops, sorry about the BFG, but I hear it’s making a come back thanks to our beloved Mary Berry, so you should be able to find a recipe easily! Good to see you too, enjoyed catching up with you over at the Mansion… !

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Sherri, you make old memories jump alive. I love the way you tell about eating out, giving clothing (and especially shoes!) details as well as the food details and the feelings behind it all.
    My grandparents sent us a set of Japanese soup bowls with the ladle-shaped spoons. The first soup recipe my mother made, my brother and I ended up using the ladle-shaped handles are tunnels for our soup, tilting them up and drinking them that way. We got more soup on us than in our mouths; it was quite awhile before we got another chance to get it right. 😉 This was great. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Thank you Marylin, it’s a strong memory for sure! Irene asked in her challenge that we write about how we felt and for me, what I was wearing was as important as the event itself. Looking back, I now realise I was clothes mad, but of course had very little money to match my tastes, so Mum made a lot for me and taught me how to sew along the way 🙂 Oh I love your ‘Japanese’ story; I can well imagine it was a long time before your Mom got those spoons out again! Mum had taught me how to use a ‘proper’ soup spoon at home, but heaven help me if I slurped! I think I probably spilt a fair bit down me that first time too! My children’s uncle introduce them to all manner of Chinese and Japanese food and utensils, so they are far more au fait with the experience than I will ever be 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful memories with me Marylin, I’m smiling now 🙂 ❤

      Like

  21. I loved this post Sherri. So much I could relate to including the fascination with the spoon! Your photo triggered memories of my own. Thanks for that run down memory lane 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Oh I’m so glad you share that same fascination too Lilka! Isn’t it funny how these things stay with us throughout our lives? Love sharing memories with you, love to hear from you, running down memory lane with you is always wonderful! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  22. dgkaye says:

    Beautiful story Sherri. Isn’t it funny some of the most memorable things that come to mind are usually not big significant moments, but stand out memories we keep. You were excited for your first meal out in a restaurant, which ironically turned out to be your last with your dad; so poignant. You were such a cute little girl. It’s always lovely to look back at photos.
    Good to have you pop back in. Drop by anytime, the wine is always chilled! xo ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Black forest cake, wine, AND coffee? La! Very swish indeed! What a lovely memories to hold onto of shared meals, Sherri. I always think they represent so much more than the food we eat together.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Haha! Yes, very! And you know, it was reading Geoff’s comment here, as a fellow Brit from the same ‘baby boomer’ generation, that I was reminded it would have been an Irish Coffee with whiskey at the bottom with a thick layer of cream floating on top! I can’t stand whiskey, then or now, but it was such a grown up thing to drink. No wonder I had stomach ache, but it was worth it 😉 Thanks BT, and yes, I totally agree… xo

      Liked by 1 person

  24. jennypellett says:

    I remember my first Chinese meal. The whole family went, along with mad Uncle Ivor. It was exotic and fun. The waitress suggested Chinese rice wine for Dad and Ivor, telling them it was ‘very good for the body.’ Ever since, that became their catch phrase for any alcohol consumed, along with their trademark school boy giggling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Haha 😀 Oh Jenny, I adore your stories about your mad Uncle Ivor, what a fantastic memory! I wish I had known you when we were growing up, not just for the great adventures and fun we would have had I just know it, but also because I know I would have adored your family and your sense of humour. I can envision it all now…great stuff! And we have Chinese food to thank for it!! 🙂 xx

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  25. What a great story, Sherri! I love the terms you used in telling it–swish–for instance. It adds so much nostalgia. Growing up in the south in America, a region known for its food, we didn’t have many restaurants either. An elk’s lodge was the main place people went, and there were a couple of hamburger joints, lunch cafes. These weren’t chains, just independently owned little businesses. It was one of the treats of going on vacation and having to eat out all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Oh thank you Renee, and I love the slice of ‘Americana’ you share. To me, that is what real America is all about; the family owned burger joints, cafes and diners. I would have loved to have taken one of those road trip holidays State to State in a huge 70s car, stopping at all those kinds of places to eat out. It was such a treat to do so, I think today it’s so common place to eat out that it’s lost its magic, which is such a shame. But growing up in the south…wow! You must have had some amazing food. My mouth is watering at just the thought of it! Love sharing a bit of nostalgia with you Renee, always a pleasure to visit. And I’m glad you like the word ‘swish’ 🙂 Ha, I’ll be saying that all day now… s.w.i.s.h Lol 😀

      Like

  26. You sure have a great memory for detail, Sherri. I remember Chicken in a basket and I remember my father always bringing home curry sauce from the fish and chip shop on a Friday night, which I would gladly pour all over my fish and chips. I can’t ever remember eating out as a child apart from when we went on holidays to Weymouth. I remember how the waitresses were dressed in black and white and how I always looked forward to Jam Coconut Sponge and custard. In those days, ice cream cones were dipped in currants and I remember that being a real treat as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Oh that curry sauce…hubby likes to do that now, but I can’t bear it over chips! And what a small world, I didn’t realise you took your holidays in Weymouth, just 30 minutes or so from us 🙂 Interestingly, when I lived in America and came home to visit with the kids, Mum (who lives in Dorset) used to take us out for the day to Weymouth as one of many outings, as she swore they had the best fish and chips there, something I’m sure you would agree with 🙂 You say I have a good memory Hugh, but you have great recall in your wonderful detail of the waitresses and meals out as a special holiday treat. So evocative. I don’t think I’ve ever had an ice cream dipped in currants, what did I miss? But oh those steam puddings and custard, yummm! Must admit though, I’m not keen on coconut. It’s Spotted Dick for me…but don’t ask me to order it, I’m so childish… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  27. A wonderful trip down memory lane, Sherri 🙂 I somehow think you were more impressed with the Chinese soup spoons than the food! My first foreign meal out was an Indian Meal when I was 16. Foolishly, I allowed my boyfriend (10 years older than me) to order my meal and he thought it incredibly funny to order a Vindaloo. Not good. Come to think of it, I did have an Italian meal out when I was 14, when I won a prize in a pop magazine to meet a pop group and go out for lunch with them. On that occasion too, I allowed a man to order my meal. Translation of the dish in question — lamb’s brain. Yuck!
    PS I’ve not seen you with chocolate on your face. Must remember to insist we order sticky chocolate pudding next time we meet up for lunch! I will make sure my camera is out 😉 xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Haha, yes, true that! Had to be Brighton didn’t it? 😉 You know I didn’t have Indian food until I moved back to the UK in 2003 and met hubby (who loves it),as there weren’t any Indian restaurants where we lived in California, but of course we had plenty of Mexican, which I came to love and miss now. But oh Sarah, a Vindaloo? I am such a wimp when it comes to spicy foods, I would have cried I think! I love your stories…a prize to have lunch with a pop group? Oh do tell, that’s amazing! I never won anything like that! But lamb’s brain…I’m heaving 😮 Great memories, well, apart from the food that is, ha! Oh Sarah, I’ll try not to get chocolate on my face when we next meet up, but I can’t say the same for ketchup lol! That could be my new profile pic! Thanks for your great comment, you’ve made me smile as you always do 🙂 xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Sherri what wonderful memories. Roger as you know grew up in Brighton and he and his friends used to eat at a Chinese Restaurant. I can’t help but think of how paths can cross so easily and that possibly he was there unknown whilst you were eating your first evening meal which sadly turned out to be the last you ate with your Dad. That is so poignant. I love your descriptions of you and your dress, the chinese spoons and those white bits floating in the soup still freak me out. I haven’t heard Roger speak of Berni Inns but he tells me tales of when he worked in a Lyons café after school and on weekends. Absolutely adore that photo of you at the table. All those little legs not reaching the floor. Priceless. Thanks for joining in and adding such a rich contribution to Times Past.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      That is quite something Irene, you just never know do you? You and I and our families seem to have touched the edges of several paths, yet have never quite crossed together at the same time…quite extraordinary. Haha…yes, those white bits. Same here, although I do still love crab & sweetcorn soup! Yes, it occurred to me when writing this post about my dad, something I hadn’t really grasped until then. Just the way it’s always been I suppose. Oh yes, Lyons cafes, they were called something else I think by the 70s. Now there’s a tea room in The Lanes in Brighton that harks back to those ‘good old days’, with the waitresses wearing little white caps and aprons. Roger would like it there 🙂 Yes, I remember the day that photo was taken. I think I had stomach ache that night too!! Probably eating too much chocolate that time 😉 Glad you enjoyed my memories for your challenge, thank you Irene again for setting it, it was really fun to walk down memory lane with you and looking forward to doing so again with your laundry prompt 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes there is only a small degree of separation. I don’t know that Roger would want to go back to his Lyons days. He has some very funny stories but he ended up unemployed because of one of them (I’ll save it for a time when I can amble on ). I loved your memories ( I always do.) You capture more than the past with them. It is fun to go for a wander together. Haven’t done enough of it lately. Look forward to doing the washing with you.

        Liked by 1 person

  29. Sherri, this rings a lot of bells for me – I don’t remember ever eating out at a restaurant with my parents until I was an adult and our only takeaway was fish and chips. I had my first Chinese from a takeaway in Penrith with friends – chips, rice and gravy! Although actually our local chip shop when I was growing up was a Chinese, my parents obviously just never had the Chinese meals 🙂 That sounds like a great memory of your Dad Sherri.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…chips, rice and gravy is definitely Chinese with a very British twist 😉 Actually, the best fish and chips we get around here are from a Chinese take away! Always a pleasure to walk down memory lane with you Andrea, thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Ste J says:

    Now you’re making me hungry! I do love eating out, its amazing how the culinary landscape has changed in Britain in the last 20 or so years. Now we can choose to eat food from all over the world and what not. I do love your memories, you always make me think back on my own but yours are more fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Sorry about that…I’m hungry now too, since it’s getting close to dinner time as I type this…! Yes, things have changed dramatically. We never had snacks either, had to ask for a biscuit, or two, if we were lucky, ha! I’m glad you think my memories are fascinating, I never thought of them as such, more strange really, but I’m so glad you enjoy reading them and thinking of your own; thank you my friend 🙂

      Like

      • Ste J says:

        Our own memories sometimes seems mundane or just uninteresting as we have always carried them with us but to other people, insight is wonderful and the thoughts that come from it. Your popularity attests to this my friend!

        Liked by 1 person

  31. Lisa Reiter says:

    I don’t know how I missed this – I thought I’d been “keeping my eye on you”! Fish and chips was always our family treat accompanied by a bottle of Dandelion and Burdock – often on a Saturday from the fish and chip van which turned up playing a tune a bit like an ice cream van. I’m sure health & safety would have something to say about a vat of boiling fat travelling around now?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      I go MIA from time to time 😉 I remember those fish & chip vans. Nothing like walking home from a night out at the pub with a friend and stopping for a bag of chips for eating and to keep cold hands warm…sure ‘elf & safety would have a fit!!

      Liked by 1 person

  32. prior2001 says:

    Mmmmm the fish at home sounds soooooo good! One thing I miss from my hometown are the Friday fish fry! Some of the best around- and I guess the big Catholic crowd there has made the Friday fish fry a huge event for decades – I also miss beef on Weck (Weck is a slated kimmelweck roll from Germany) and they are really good.
    Anyhow – love the picture and the new challenge sounds fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Now I’ve never heard of beef on Weck, so I’m really glad you explained what it is mon amie! Although I still have never heard of a ‘slated kiemmelweck roll’, but I do love German food! Glad you enjoyed it…and I’m hungry now, that time of day! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Norah says:

    Hi Sherri, I’m sooo late getting here. I loved the sound of your first meal out to a Chinese restaurant with your Dad, but was saddened to hear that it was to be your last evening meal out with him. It’s a good thing this one was memorable.I also loved the sound of the evening out with your boyfriend. Pity about the coffee. Put on the kettle and we’ll have a cup of tea – make mine peppermint please! 🙂
    I’ll have to pop back again to follow your links. I’m a bit pressed for time tonight. See you again soon. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Norah, and no worries! I know you have a lot on your plate, and it’s always lovely to see you no matter the time of day or night, thank you for visiting me 🙂 It was so long ago, but I’m glad to have that memory of my dad. But yes, let’s have tea instead, and I have to say, peppermint tea is great for the digestion 🙂 Don’t worry about the links, only when you can, if you can, they’re not vital by any means. I hope you’ve had a good day Norah, and yes, see you soon for sure! 🙂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Norah says:

        Thank you for your patience, Sherri.
        I agree with you about peppermint tea. It is quite settling. I hope your writing is going well. Have a productive week. N xo

        Like

  34. Marie Keates says:

    We didn’t eat out either. My first meal out was a Christmas party for my Mum’s works. It was a posh supper house with thirteen courses. Very swish and I remember the quiche (I’d never even heard of it in the early 70’s).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sherri says:

      Wow…13 courses? That’s something to remember. And I remember when quiche first became popular too, I still have the original recipe my mum gave me back in the days when I actually used to make it!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  35. I marvel at your memory and your wonderful descriptions of times past! I can picture you now in your purple and white mini and later in your elegant black dress. The picture of the tea party is simply priceless! Once again you took me with you my friend. Such a lovely story and now excuse me I have a very sudden urge for some good Chinese food-yum!! 🙂 xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Mahevash says:

    Very heartwarming. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Aw, love the tea party photo. And “fish and chips wrapped in newspaper” made me smile. Don’t know why. Is that common in the UK?

    Those spoons were always SO cool when I was a child. Oh, pfft! Who am I kidding? I still think they’re cool. Love so much the memory with your dad. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Wow! Your last meal out with your dad?? I’m so glad it was memorable for you!
    Yay for being born in the 60s!!
    Crab and corn soup is divine! Those spoons are so graceful!
    I love those little blue Mary Janes!!
    I haven’t been very good myself lately with the visits, and the commenting.
    Good thing we give each other grace!
    Melinda

    Liked by 1 person

  39. I have a fondness for Chinese food, (my mum is Malaysian and a fabulous cook,) so your post made me smile. Not too long ago I went out with my dad for a Chinese meal together, just the two of us, in Edinburgh it was lovely. Little moments like that stay in our memories. He will be visiting me soon in Cambridge with my mum…. 🙂

    Like

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