I had school dinners when I was at secondary school, and on the whole I thought they were very good – obviously not as good as home-cooked dinner of course! We had a variety of different dishes throughout the week, and a variety of puddings and desserts to follow. I guess we did have a lot of carbs, but we were much more active, we cycled everywhere, we had games and dance several times a week, and although there were radiators, in the winter I guess the classrooms were quite chilly – no double glazing!

We did have salads from time to time, especially in the summer – a bowl of lettuce leaves, a bowl of sliced tomatoes, a bowl of sliced cucumber… have I missed anything? Oh yes, the salad cream. With that we would have sliced ham or beef or grated cheese… and did we have hard-boiled eggs? I think we did.

This was in Cambridge… a hundred or more miles away in Surrey, a lovely lady who later became my mother-in-law was a school dinner cook, and I have inherited her school dinner cook book… and lots of the things she cooked and prepared sound much more interesting… including the salads.

The salad vegetables were divided into two groups, and a salad would be made from 11 parts group A to 8 parts group B:

Group A

  • raw cabbage, prepared and shredded finely
  • raw sprouts, prepared and shredded finely
  • raw cauliflower
  • watercress – dead leaves and coarse stalks removed, washed well in salt water, shaken/strained and broken into sprigs
  • mustard and cress – stalk ends cut off, washed thoroughly
  • parsley – stalks removed, washed well in salt water, dried thoroughly, broken into sprigs or chopped finely
  • mint – discard stalks, wash leaves thoroughly, leave whole or chop
  • lettuce – outer leaves removed, washed well in salt water, drained thoroughly, torn into sheds (DO NOT CUT)

Group B

  • radishes
  • cucumber
  • tomatoes
  • apples
  • celery
  • carrot – raw or cooked
  • swede – raw or cooked
  • beetroot – raw or cooked
  • dates
  • raisins
  • peas – cooked
  • beans – cooked

It’s interesting that it mentions so firmly that lettuce should be torn not cut – it is all a myth that cutting damages or spoils lettuce… have a look here:

http://www.culinarylore.com/food-science:do-not-cut-lettuce-with-a-knife

I can’t remember us having winter salads, but in mother-in-law’s school cookery book there is a list of vegetables for three different versions, which I wouldn’t mind. We tend to think of eating raw vegetables as a modern thing, but here we are, sixty years ago children were having them for school lunch!

Winter salad A

  • white cabbage (or sprouts or red cabbage)
  • carrots (or beetroot or tomato)
  • celery (or cauliflower)
  • onion
  • mustard and cress/watercress
  • sugar and vinegar

Winter salad B

  • white cabbage (or sprouts or red cabbage)
  • carrots (or beetroot or tomato)
  • red apples
  • dates
  • onion
  • mustard and cress/watercress
  • sugar and vinegar

Winter salad C

  • white cabbage (or sprouts or red cabbage)
  • carrots (or beetroot or tomato)
  • raisins, sultanas or dates
  • apples
  • lemon juice
  • celery (or cauliflower)
  • onion
  • mustard and cress/watercress
  • sugar and vinegar

… and lastly, here is a recipe for salad dressing:

Salad dressing

  • margarine
  • flour
  • water
  • dried milk
  • vinegar
  • mustard powder
  • sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • yellow food colouring
  1. make a white sauce with the first four ingredients
  2. boil the vinegar and sugar together
  3. make the mustard
  4. add all the ingredients together
  5. add the food colouring to your desired shade

 

5 thoughts on “School dinner salad

    • A chip making machine? Does it cut and fry the chips? We have a thing which cuts potatoes into chips, then we have an air-fryer which only uses a teaspoon of oil… I’m actually not a very chippy person, I don’t mind a few occasionally.

      Like

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