Aldbourne Memories #BritishPieWeek 2022

A search through the Aldbourne Archive this morning, in praise of PIES in all their glory – some more palatable to modern tastes than others. I’ll start with some more modern recipes and end with two definite ‘dishes of necessity’ that sustained desperate folk in desperate times, in days of yore. The thought is never far from my mind that we are fortunate to be able to make food choices for ourselves and families.

Recipe reminiscences gathered by the Aldbourne Oral History Project (2006)

Wartime memories – the Americans gave large tins of pineapple. Mother made pineapple pie.

Mabel/Mabs Beckingham

I remember my oldest sister making a banana pie, and she had got some banana essence and some parsnips and somehow mixed them up, mixed them up together to make it seem like it was a banana pie. How that worked I don’t know, but I know she did it.

David Palmer

Delicious recipes and pie pastry hints, taken from ‘Do Me a Flavour’ published in 1986 by the Aldbourne WI

Aldbourne Parish News 1974

I have seen mention of Rook Pie, very definitely a ‘dish of necessity’ and possibly the source of the nursery rhyme’s infamous ‘four and twenty black birds’. Necessity turned to sport for the gentry during the 19th Century and Mrs Beeton’s recipe was published as late as 1936. I did some research with Mr Google, but it made me feel faintly queasy; so Dear Reader – I’ll leave you to your own devices on that one. I’m with the black bird that went in for sinus surgery, quite frankly I’m not surprised rooks took every opportunity for vengeance. Although, part of me wishes the visitation took place in the parlour or counting house, rather than the maid in the garden. (And thanks to Jenny Wren, well known plastic surgeon).

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