Friday, 26 August 2016

Childhood Treats

Writing about pop yesterday started me thinking about childhood treats.  Pop was very, very rare back then.  It never appeared at home, only if we were out for a day and we called at a pub on the way home.  A bottle of fruit squash appeared at birthdays and Christmas but otherwise it was water or milk.

The oddest treat I can remember was sandwiches cut on the diagonal.  Let me explain.  In our house sandwiches were normally cut "square", i.e. the cuts were parallel to the sides of the bread.  Birthday sandwiches were cut on the diagonal, as most sandwiches are cut today.  Don't ask me why diagonally cut sandwiches were considered to be a treat: it's totally illogical but I think Mother was very crafty in making me THINK that they were a treat.

And maybe that's a skill which I need to re-learn, the skill of finding modest treats, inexpensive treats, simple ways of making things special.  Too often treats are associated with spending money rather than taking care or using imagination.  My current favourite treats of this sort are freshly ironed sheets and vegetables put onto the table in pretty serving dishes.

Anybody got any more ideas?


  1. Afternoon tea, served in a proper china cup, with a scone and a pretty napkin!

  2. When I was little we used to have sunday tea on a trolley in the living room and I remember sliced cucumber in vinegar and the little forks with plastic coloured handles.

  3. My favorite treat was fudge made without a candy thermometer with pecan halves on top. Mama put it in a platter to cool. We could not wait for it to come out of the refrigerator and to watch her cut it into squares.

  4. I had too many treats when I was a child and grew up spoilt and became broke. And when I see the treats I offer myself now, they make me smile and my family would raise an eyebrow : letting cold water run freely on my arms on a hot day when water is so expensive is my favourite at the moment. It might sound meaningless but I now know it's an indulgence !

  5. In our house Chocolate biscuits are a treat. Wine is a rare treat or when we have certain visitors who bring it! Ice cream is carefully dished up as a special pud. If we stay up late and have a little extra supper that is a treat. Crisps etc are very rarely seen here. Not unhappy, not fat, not broke!!!

  6. Time to myself is a treat - I usually only get that when out doing the shopping - otherwise I have my elderly Mother to care for. Today on the way home from shopping I parked up under a tree and had 15 minutes to myself

  7. As a child in the late 1940's my birthday treat was to be allowed to have a friend to take tea. The main item diagonally cut boiled egg and tomato sandwiches. Thank you for reminding me.

    1. Welcome to my blog, Joyce! Our mothers had wonderful ways of making us feel "spoiled" and treated. It's a frugal skill we need to recover both for children and adults, I think.