Todays word that came to mind on wakening was ‘salami’.

With my conversion back to white bread from whole-meal, it brought back memories from way back. My mother making sandwiches for my three brothers and one sister going to school in Australia. It was part of the ‘New Country’ that schoolkids did not come home for lunch as schoolkids did and still do back in Holland. Instead they would stay at school and have a lunch made by mothers. Sometimes, but rarely by fathers. My dad never made a single sandwich but did excel in pancakes with golden syrup.

Of course in the heat of summers and in mid flight, the opening of hundreds of lunch boxes simultaneously, created a stench that over the years impregnated the class rooms, the walls and indeed, the whole building. I can walk-by any school today and get an instant re-call of banana sandwiches, spaghetti sandwiches and the essence of any lunch box; Devon with tomato sauce. It is now thought that the Devon sandwich with tomato sauce started school bullying. In England the Devon was called luncheon meat or Spam.

My mother was at her wit’s end trying to find interesting filling for my brothers’ and sister’s sandwiches. Australia was very sunny and very spacious but as far as sandwich fillings, back in the fifties and sixties, it was a dark unforgiving place. I mean, I can still taste the tinned spaghetti with Tom. sauce sandwich. Is it of any wonder that failure followed so many that went to school?

Till the late eighties and at social adult gatherings, it was the pickled gherkin surrounded by Devon or in some rare cases ham, pierced by a toothpick’ that would brake the ice and get things rocketing and moving. Men with beer around the barbeque and the girls in the kitchen. If a man dared to move to the kitchen he was suspected of being a bit of a poofter.

It was left to the genius of Barry Humphries of the Edna Average fame to make this famous quote of someone quietly farting on entering the lift on the ground floor filling up with lawyers of Madigan and Madigan Ltd (solicitors and family lawyers) suffering all the way up to the 26th floor;… “Who opened their lunch box?”

It was some years after that Italian salami, prosciutto and non plastic cheese came to the shelves at David Jones delicatessen, soon followed by olives, real coffee and anchovies. I remember the advertisements on TV ’43 beans of coffee in every Nescafe instant coffee. In the late seventies coffee lounges opened up in Kings Cross and garlic made its entrance. It was a true revolution.

Look at me now.

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25 Responses to “Salami”

  1. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Gerard, all that smelly salami and noodles with tomato sauce must have made you a smart man. You survived and now you are eating white bread again. That is the real shame- eating white bread when one is older. Actually it is not all that good for anyone at any age. But I just can not resist rattling your cage a bit. 🙂 There is no fiber and no real nutritional value in white bread. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • elizabeth2560 Says:

      I beg to differ on the white bread. Even though wholemeal and wholegrain breads may be superior, that does not mean white bread is “bad” or devoid of nutrients. White bread does have some fibre and is a good source of Thiamin, Niacin and other micro-nutrients. White bread has received bad-press as it is often lumped in with other refined foods such as sugar, cakes and biscuits. It is not the same as these at all. Although it deserves portion control, (and careful reading of nutrition labels to find a variety higher in fibre and nutrients) I would watch what is put on the bread, rather than the bread itself. I would ditch the salami before the bread.

      Liked by 3 people

      • petspeopleandlife Says:

        Elizabeth, thank you for setting me straight. You have your opinion and I have mine. While I exaggerated somewhat by writing that white bread is not all the good, I still stand by what I believe to be a better bread. I grew up eating my mother’s homemade white bread. I also grew up eating salami and bologna. But I no longer eat those things. Too much salt, by-products, fat and so on. Also, I do not eat anything furred or feathered.

        We are worlds apart and I’m sure quite a few years apart in age. You seem to be well versed in food and perhaps you are an expert on nutrition. I am not an expert but I do know a few things about nutrition since I’m a Registered Nurse, retired.

        Liked by 1 person

      • elizabeth2560 Says:

        We are maybe not so worlds apart. I am retired too (just) and, yes, I do have a degree in nutrition, although it was not my primary profession which was pharmacy. I respect nurses. They are right up there next to saints. I was vegetarian (and wholegrain / no white bread etc) for 20 years and only relaxed that stance when my three boys hit the puberty years. I found they were not eating their wholegrain sandwiches at lunch and would then steer towards junk food after school. ie that is what they would spend their pocket money on. When I relaxed on the white bread and packet breakfast cereals (low sugar of course!), I found they would eat their lunch and also would come home after school and eat my food (white bread and breakfast cereals) and not crisps, snack bars, confectionery, sugared drinks, etc.

        Liked by 2 people

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, that is the dilemma that faces so many parents. I suppose in order to encourage a good diet in kids some compromise or trade off might be necessary.
        I really hate those ads on TV during kids programmes and corrupt them with sugary drink and salty food ads. Why doesn’t the government take it by the horn and ban those ads?

        Liked by 2 people

  2. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, Iknow. That’s why I make up with goodies at lunch and dinner. Huge quantities of vegies.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. bkpyett Says:

    You brought many memories back Gerard. I guess I was lucky enough to be of the generation that went home for lunch. Even if it meant running back that mile, not to be late and get into trouble.
    My father always came home for ‘dinner’ as we called it. BTW in Tasmania we called Devon sausage, German sausage!


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I did come home for lunch when I went to school too. When our kids went to school in Holland for the three years we lived there they too come home for lunch on their bicycle. They were good times then.
      I remember the Devon (German sausage) came in a huge roll and was very cheap. I think it was bits of pork and beef suspended in lard.


  4. rod Says:

    Where I grew up, schools had kitchens and served cooked lunches, as they still do.


  5. Andrew Says:

    We took sandwiches to school. Usually beetroot. I loved beetroot sandwiches. I’m sure they smelled a bit but better than Spam! I remember the Nescafe ad, too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Mashed banana, fish paste, marmite… yum. Doesn’t bullying predate sandwiches?


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      No, the bullying came with Devon and tom. sauce. The rich kids had better sandwiches and looked down on the Devon mob. There were fights underneath the stairs and behind lockers. Really awful. Many were marred for life and kept up bullying into the next generation.


  7. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Egg salad sandwich… Loved them Gerard, but boy could they smell up a room. Tuna salad was another one. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  8. gerard oosterman Says:

    I remember the Devon Demons at Revesby High. They used to get bullyed by the egg&bacon mob who used to delight in tormenting many kids from down River Rd which was a poorer neighbourhood.

    They used to pull pants from the Devon boy and smear egg all over their privates. A kind of school prefects speciality.

    Of course the egg&bacon mob often had money to go and buy sausage rolls from the tuck shop. The tuck shop was run by mothers with big arms but even bigger hearts who sometime used to hand out sausage rolls to the Devon Demons.

    There is enough material on school tuck shops alone to fill an entire blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. chris hunter Says:

    You tell it so well maestro, you wake up with one word in mind, salami, and spin a tale so wild and free, about lunch boxes and youth – look at us Gerard, but hopefully not for the last time…


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Could not get a better compliment. You’re a bit of a wordsmith yourself Chris. I do follow you on B.Ellis’ blog. A treasure trove of wisdom and connivery.


      • chris hunter Says:

        Thanks Gerard. No doubt you have seen the latest serial pest on TT. There is a curious relationship between Glow Worm and the so called Claire, that lends me to your theory about multi blogging. A kind of tag team scenario. I remember how vicious GW was towards you, and equally this ‘Claire’ character towards me. She was gunning for me right from the start, seemed to know all about me. She and GW share the same pathology, one calls her ‘alleged’ husband BB and the other GB, a symbiosis, cleverly concealed perhaps? It stretches the imagination but there is a link, something is going on. One things clear, she hates my guts with a vengeance, so I’ll continue to rile her for a while…(wink)


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        They are both vindictive people, devisive and nasty. I know from the ABC ‘Unleashed” and from a couple of other blogs. I think.


  10. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Loved the blog and the commentary following on this one.

    Liked by 1 person

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