Spinach and Beet - Part 17

This month’s diary of a Centre Organiser comes from July 1949

Got chatting to a delightful American airman in the ’bus and found myself inviting him at his own - urgent - request to our Darby and Joan Club. He was an enormous success with the old people (having just the right touch of deference alternating with impudence!) - except, perhaps, in the case of one of our slightly deaf “Joans”. Our visitor, chewing the inevitable gum, sat down opposite her and they gazed at each other in silence for a moment or two. Then “Joan” shook her head resignedly. “It’s very good of you, young man, to try to talk to an old woman,” she told him. “ But I can’t hear a word you’re saying !”

Could it have been, I wonder, because news of our interest in the prevention of Juvenile Delinquency is becoming known that a woman brought her small son to the office and treated us to a history of his “crimes”? “And yesterday evening, what did he do?” she finished. “Ate the whole of our week’s rations of butter and margarine, a whole fruit cake - and half pound of biscuits (on points, mind you) as well !” “Did you spank him ?” Miss Blank asked her over the top of her typewriter. The woman flushed indignantly. “I don’t believe in corporal punishment,” she declared. “No. I sent him to bed without any supper.”

Called to see Mrs Matron, mother of four small children, on my way to the office - to explain about a new “Sitter-in” we had found for her. She was hanging out her washing and in addition to clothes, coloured streamers and flags danced gaily on the line in the breeze. “Somebody’s birthday?” I suggested brightly. Mrs Matron laughed and shook her head. “It’s the first time for eight years that there aren’t any nappies on the line,” she said. “I had to celebrate it somehow !” And talking of “ Sitters-in,” Mrs Truefit brought us the following story which she picked up in the uniform department at Tothill Street: - Small boy: “Daddy, when Mummy dies, please will you marry the Sitter-in ?”



Cover any fresh soft fruit with sugar and leave to draw the juice. Drain off juice and pass fruit through a wire sieve. Make some custard with a large cup of milk, 1 dessertspoon cornflour, 1 tablespoon sugar and yolk of one egg. Dissolve 3/4 oz. powdered gelatine in a little of the fruit juice. Mix sieved fruit, custard and gelatine together. Beat up the whites of two eggs until stiff and then fold into the fruit mixture very gently. Tie a piece of greased paper round the souffle dish making the paper a few inches higher than the dish. Pour in the souffle mixture and place in the refrigerator until quite firm. Take off paper and decorate with mock cream and glace cherries.


3 tablespoons cocoa or chocolate powder
1 tin household milk powder
4 tablespoons water
2 oz. margarine
8 oz. sugar

Dissolve the sugar in water in a strong pan over a low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the margarine. When melted add a small teaspoon of flavouring, together with milk powder and cocoa, previously sieved. Beat until smooth and thick. Pour into a greased tin to get firm. Cut into squares when cold and quite set.

Posted by Matthew McMurray, Royal Voluntary Service Archivist at 00:00 Tuesday, 01 December 2015.

Labels: American Airman, Crimes, Corporal punishments, Sitter in, Nappies, fruit soufle , recipe, chocolate fudge

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