I always think that the kitchen is the heart of the home and, if you’re lucky, you have enough room in yours for a table to eat at.
|The Husband’s curry night – unheard of when I was growing up
It seems, however, that fewer families are eating together or even sitting down to three regular meals a day. We are becoming a nation of grazers – and that’s a shame because if we don’t sit down to eat together we lose more than just the chance of a decent meal.
We miss conversation, sharing and the chance to bond and grow together as a family.
Back in April 2015, a study commissioned by Highland Spring into family life discovered that 25% of parents spent just 34 minutes with their kids each day. Six in ten parents said they struggled to get the whole family together and just four meals a week were eaten as a group. And usually, the kids can’t wait to get back to their gadgets these days, can they?
|Caitlin helping me bake a cake earlier this year
Not only that, but despite the huge numbers of TV cookery shows, we are cooking less too. It’s all too easy to rely on the popty ping (microwave) as we call it here in Wales.
A study by market research institute GFK in the same year asked more than 27,000 people between the ages of 15 and 60 (from 22 countries) about their home cooking habits. Whilst India was the nation creating the most meals from scratch spending over 13 hours per week cooking, we Brits managed a below average 5.9 hours a week in the kitchen.
Cooking certainly seemed to play a much more important role in family life in previous decades. Our kitchen has always been my mother’s domain and as a child of the 60’s I grew up on casseroles, pilafs, kedgerees and desserts like Symington’s Table Creams, Creme Caramel, Angel Delight, Instant Whip and Dream Topping (all healthy stuff!).
Cheesecakes used to be made with a McVities Digestive Biscuit base, about a foot of Philadelphia Cream Cheese and a tin of black cherries poured on top.
Kitchens very much reflect the trends in cooking don’t they? Nobody had heard of a spiraliser back in the 70’s and courgettes were strange relatives of the cucumber to be sliced, covered in salt and olive oil and fried. The same with tagines or those enormous Parmesan graters – unknown in the majority of British households. And, as Peter Kay once said “Garlic bread? It’s the future. I’ve tasted it!”
Prestige have prepared their own homage to the changing face of the nation’s kitchens with a fun interactive timeline which revisits the kitchens of decades gone by. You’ll see when key innovations such as the microwave or pressure cooker made their first appearance. The timeline can be viewed here kitchensthroughthedecades.prestige.co.uk/.
Take a look and take yourself back down memory lane (even my favourite Pot Noodles make an appearance).
Then, why not commit to a family midweek dinner. Get your Prestige cookware or bakeware out and relive some of your past food favourites.
A look back at Kitchen Design by Decade has been produced by Prestige.