RECENTLY I was recounting to my great grandson the kind of things we had to eat during the war years when I was about his age of five years.

Lots of food was rationed but because we lived on farms we lived better than others.

We always had milk and eggs to hand and as was quite common we shared feeding and fattening a pig with all our food scraps, like potato peelings etc, to make pig swill.

When the pig was ready for slaughter, the local butcher came and did his job.

The carcass was then divided out and Dad would go to work curing the joints, bacon and ham etc, to preserve it.

My Mam would be busy with the blood, making fresh black pudding as good as any butchers produce. She also made her own pease pudding and always had fresh bread baking in the oven lit by fire.

There were also rabbits to be had. They were everywhere and needed to be kept down.

We did our bit there, no doubt.

I remember Mam at certain times made a sweet called a junket which was a sort of custardy type of thing. This was made, I believe, from the first milking of the cow after calving. A favourite of mine.

We never went hungry. As well as fresh veg from the garden there was nature’s bounty.

Wild field mushrooms, blackberries, apples and sweet chestnuts etc, depending on the season.

On a night we would sit round the fire and watch Mam making cinder toffee which we all enjoyed - until it was gone.

Happy days.

Doug Porthouse, Ferryhill.