FAMILY HISTORY THROUGH THE ALPHABET CHALLENGE
Researching and writing about the lives of family can sometimes make me sad. When this happens, there are a number of useful strategies which soon have me bouncing back. My “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” blog is aways a happy place to play. Trawling “You Tube” for fun, ridiculous and romantic songs is another favourite and sometimes writing about amusing incidents from childhood like “Dad, fencing and Nana”, which are passed on to my descendants through this blog, soon get the chuckles going again.
Needing comforting and cheering up after my latest two posts to “Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge”, one about “Baby Crout” and the other “Cousin Lizzie”, I mused over the letter Dd and immediately “Delightful, Delicious & Delectable” jumped into my head. It’s just a little story from childhood which brings back fond memories. Maybe it will trigger some happy thoughts for you too…
It’s 1950 in the working class suburb of Queenstown, South Australia, and just a couple of miles “up the track” from Port Adelaide where dad and grandpa worked “on the wharf”. Picture a large family kitchen with four hungry “tykes” sitting around the table, waiting for breakfast, and amazed to see their dad busy at the task. Why dad? … I have no idea. Maybe I do, but don’t want to think about it as it may bring back the sadness…
Anyway, dad put four bowls in front of us announcing “They’re POBS – Mam used to make them for me.” Well, I’d never tasted anything so delicious and delectable in all of my four years. Sixty two years later, and still a feeling of calm envelopes me with the very thought. So, what were these magical “POBS” and what made them special? The breakfast dad put before us that day was simply a bowl filled with cubes of white bread, sprinkled with sugar and moistened with warm milk but oh so so delicious. Over the years, and on rare occasions, dad served us POBS but mum never did. Right from the start mum’s POBS were rejected… they just didn’t taste the same.
This South Australian girl knew no other person who ate POBS, or even knew what they were. I figured it was just a fun name that my Yorkshire born dad and his “mam” used for a bowl of bread, sugar and milk until, in 1995, I visited his home town of Windhill, Shipley, Yorkshire, England. Seeking the whereabouts of dad’s childhood home I met up with a delightful group of elderly people at the Windhill Community Centre, Church Street, Windhill. They named themselves the “Windhill Memories Group”, were amazed that Harry Crout’s daughter had come visiting, all the way from Australia, and happily shared their memories. Lillian Moorhouse was one who maintained contact and would sometimes send copies of her pencil drawings of “Windhill of Yesteryear”. One day a booklet arrived titled “HOMECURES OF YESTERYEAR” and there on page 5, to my amazement, was a description for POBS – not a made up family name at all!…
Years later, with a “search” on Wikipedia, I discovered that POBS are a traditional Lancashire dish. The internet also has many forums & discussion groups where talk about POBS arises. It was here I learnt that POB stands for “Pieces Of Bread” and also that a crushed up Oxo cube, sprinkled on bread and covered with hot water falls into the same category. What a surprise to discover that POBS were also enjoyed by others.
To ensure that this simple meal lived up to the title of “Delightful, Delicious & Delectable” it had to be served in the appropriate dish - one of mum’s small, rimmed, white bowls which were dotted with tiny pink flowers and edged with gold.
So … a delightful, delicious, and delectable meal, of bread and milk, needed to be prepared by dad and served in the appropriate dish to make my day. … happy memories.
SOURCES: HOMECURES OF YESTERYEAR by Lillian Moorhouse © Lillian Moorhouse Reg. BB/818 No 33371. Published by: Windhill Memories Group. N.E.W.C.A. Church Street, Windhill, Shipley, Yorkshire, England.
Copyright © 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family