James Follett

Very Short Fiction


Ah, semolina!

Last update was Monday, 31 December, 2007 3:50 PM

Ah, semolina! James Follett © 2008


Ah, semolina! [The thought] brings tears of nostalgia to mine rhemmy old eyes. Semolina was the essential "pudding" much loved by British Restaurants in the
1940s and 50s, and was often served up to us kids as the second course of our school dinner.

The distribution method was that one took one's enamel bowl to Dinner Lady 1 who ladled a great dollop of the stuff into your bowl. It looked like a
photographic negative of a cowpat.

Dinner Lady 2 added a squirt of strawberry jam in the exact centre of this albino cowpat. One then returned to one's table and used the spoon to stir both
ingredients together into a pink mush. The spoon was then used to flick the resulting mush at girls with long hair.

There were rumours going around at the time that we were supposed to eat it, but I stress that they were only rumours. Under the defence regulations it was
illegal to spread stories that might cause alarm and despondency.

Tapioca received similar treatment. The difference was that we told that it had to be eaten because sailors risked being torpedoed to bring shiploads of the stuff to
Britain from the Far East. It arrived at the docks in the form of large swede-like roots, and no amount of pleading with dockers could persuade them to send it

All we need now is for [name] to pop up with wild claims about how he enjoyed his helpings of semolina and tapioca (frog spawn). He probably asked for more.

Next week: date pudding and custard and its role in the infamous 1959 HMS Vernon conscripts' mutiny at Pompey.

Sorry . . . I expect all this waffle bored the pants off you without answering your question. As to whether or not semolina is on sale in the UK, it would be
appreciated if those who know the answer could use a code word for the stuff. Us oldies have no wish to relive the horrors of the last war. Anilomes will do.



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