Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.

Mrs Constance Jewell remembers economising with meals during the Depression, interviewed in 1986

Mrs Constance Jewell was born in 1896 and interviewed in 1986 for the 'Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900 to 1960.' She moved with her husband to Hammondville, a housing settlement for families in difficulty during the depression. She recalls economising with meals during that time.

CONSTANCE: In the dole days you had to be so careful because you had to stretch things. Three penneth of neck o' mutton and three penneth of soup vegetables and a handful of barley made a good dinner. The woman next door she put her dirt tin out one day and it was full of tins! I said 'What are you doing with all the tins?' She said 'Eat, of course!' I said 'They're twice as dear as what two dinners are the way I cook.' Sometimes you'd put a dumpling in it, sometimes you'd buy a neck of mutton and chop it all up and make a stew and then lift the bones out of it and that type of thing. Or you'd buy bacon bones and make pea soup. We used to make a cake, we couldn't afford eggs or anything like that, but I had one that I didn't have to put eggs in it. It was dripping mixed with sugar and you'd beat that up. And if you had eggs you were lucky. You put that in and a handful of fruit or whatever you had and some flour and a pinch of baking soda to darken it.

Contributed By
(Excerpt from interview with Mrs Jewell from the 'Looking back at Liverpool : an oral history of the Liverpool region 1900-1960' conducted in 1986 by Liverpool City Council, editor and project co-ordinator Catherine Johnson ; researchers Angela Imbrosciano, Verica Miiosavijevic, Kathleen Smith)