Bread and Thread Temperance

Nick: this episode touches on addiction with mentions of domestic violence. Search for ‘local larder’ to just get stuff about pastry instead.

Opening theme

Liz

Welcome to bread and thread, a podcast about food and domestic history. I’m Liz.

Hazel

I’m Hazel. We’re two friends who studied archaeology together and love history. So what have you been making and or baking this week?

LIZ

I have discovered a way to make really easy fruit flavoured ice cream.

HAZEL

That sounds like a thing I want to know about.

LIZ

400ml single cream, big heaped tablespoon of jam, mix them together and make it cold.

HAZEL

That sounds easy. Just put it in the freezer.

LIZ

We have an ice cream maker so our method involved churning, but this would also work for the freezer, you just have to blend it up plenty first.

HAZEL

I was going to say if you wanted to make it in the freezer would you have to take it out every hour or so and stir it?

LIZ

It couldn’t do any harm because before we got the ice cream maker I did try to make ice cream in the freezer and it ended up rock solid.

HAZEL

Yeah I tried to make ice cream in the fridge before [sic] and I think I didn’t I think you’re supposed to keep taking it out every so often and stir ir until it’s frozen but I’;m not sure what interval. But that sounds delicious.

LIZ

You’ve already got sugars in the jam so it’s just flavouring the cream. Most ice cream recipes I used involve double cream, milk fruit and sugar. But fruit and sugar is just jam, and double cream and milk you end up with a single cream consistency, so single cream plus jam equals ice cream.

HAZEL

There appear to be two kinds of ice cream recipes – one where you make cream with sugar and fruit and one where you make a kind of custard and put flavour in it.

LIZ

Those are nicer, more like a gelato, but if you want something fruity and cold you can just blend cream and fruit together. What have you been up to?

HAZEL

My boyfriend made me an Inkle Loom which was very wholesome of him so I have an inkle loom and I have been weaving things.

LIZ

I love it and the word Inkle is adorable, but can you explain what an inkle is?

HAZEL

Inkle is apparently the old Scandinavian word for a band or a strap, a small piece of weaving so an inkle loom is a small table sized loom for small bits of weaving like straps and bands and belts and things. It’s planks with a series of pegs on it and you wind your yarn around it and you’re able to do a very simple weave just by pushing it up and down with your hand., it’s really cool, I figured it out I’ve woven some things. I love it. I figured out how to do letters I want to make a belt with some of the words with the misty mountain song on it.

LIZ

That is very cool have you considered the words from the bury new loom?

HAZEL

Oh goodness.

LIZ

It’s a song where fixing and straightening up a woman’s loom is a euphemism let’s just say that.

HAZEL

Yeah, it means exactly what you think it might. That would be a very meta piece of weaving and I like it. So yeah I’ve just been playing with my new toy recently.

LIZ

In the absence of a segue can I talk to you about temperance bars?

HAZEL

Yes, I don’t think you need a segue it’s a whole topic in itself.

LIZ

Don’t drink and segue obviously.

HAZEL

No I would not recommend. Alternatively if you do please film it and tweet it at us.

LIZ

I do not endorse this, I’d like to distance myself from my cohost’s comments.

HAZEL

I hope this is the most problematic thing that happens on this podcast. Encouraging people to segue when drunk. Ok, so that’s a segue if you need one into temperance drinks.

LIZ

So probably best to start off with gin, you’re probably aware of gin being called mother’s ruin.

HAZEL

I do like to start off with gin – and I’ve heard that one.

LIZ

The thought was that working class people especially were drinking too mcuh and men were getting drunk at the pub and beating their wives and women were getting drunk at home and neglecting their children. And oh no what are we going to do about the terrible poor people?

HAZEL

Oh no that’s terrible what are we going to do about them?

LIZ

We’re going to encourage them to go to coffee houses and cocoa houses.

HAZEL

That sounds nice if patronising.

LIZ

Yeah especially in the UK at the moment, we’ll get into the US later on – you get a lot of quakers setting up cocoa houses that mostly did hot chocolate, but they’d encourage instead of the man going to the pub on his own getting drunk, I don’t know why this is my voice when it comes to men getting drunk, you can take your family to get hot chocolate and have an improving lecture and a singsong and it would all be very wholesome and nice.

HAZEL

I do like an improving lecture.

LIZ

Which I feel is very 19th c quaker.

HAZEL

Absolutely.

LIZ

Cause a lot of them were involved in chocolate, you[‘ve got Nestle Cadbury and Rowntree.

HAZEL

Handy way to promote your product, a way of improving the population thing.

LIZ

It’s a very cynical way of interpreting it.

HAZEL

Yeah I don’t doubt that as well as that they had good intentions.

LIZ

At this point the temperance movement was much more encouragement and then the methodists got involved which… I don’t know much about the methodists I don’t know enough about them to have anything against them. But they took it down the road of all drink is evil if you drink alcohol you will perform crimes and go to hell, die horribly in penury.

HAZEL

People don’t like being told that.

LIZ

And that was the attitude that was much more behind the temperance movement in the US where you had like bands and pledges and protests against the evils of the demon drink.

HAZEL

Yeah actual prohibition eventually.

LIZ

The same way of thinking is basically what led to prohibition, and we should do a whole episode on that at some point.

HAZEL

Yeah, it’s interesting that it became more on the side of encouragement because you would have thought that british society might be more conservative if anything.

LIZ

Bear in mind the leaders of the temperance movement at this point were quakers, some were methodists, but they were nonconformists who were already treated with suspicion because they weren’t old fashioned anglicans.

HAZEL

Aah, ok. So were there any actual real temperance bars – was it in america or was it just the hardline don’t do alcohol?

LIZ

The coffee houses and things were definitely a part of it in the US, but the actual phrase temperance bar is quite interesting vbecause we have a bar like setup and they are actually sometimes called temprance taverns as well. They would sell things like sarsaparilla, cream soda, colas, and the national drink of manchester, vimto.

HAZEL

How old is vimto?

LIZ

Vimto was invented in 1908.

HAZEL

Wow, that’s fantastic. I love the idea that the edwardians were sipping on some vimto.

LIZ

For those who have not visited the northwest of england, it’s basically a regional drink at this point.

HAZEL

It’s fair to assume most people haven’t visited the northwest at this point.

LIZ

And they are fools. It’s basically a blackcurrant drink but it has other fruits in it there’s grape and strawberry I think in it I might be wrong but I’m pretty sure.

HAZEL

It’s a purple fruit drink. And some red fruit.

LIZ

It’s like ribena but it’s more of a complex flavour. It was sold as a health drink – a lot of temperance drinks were not just it’s not alcohol but it’s good for you. One of my favourite temperance drinks which is made by fitzpatricks which is fun because the last remaining temperance bar is fitzpatricks in Preston which we need to go to – the drink is blood tonic it’s absolutely delicious it’s rosehip and nettle.

HAZEL

It’s a tonic for your blood not a tonic made of blood.

LIZ

Yeah I’m not sure how that would have gone down.

HAZEL

That sounds quite nice rosehip and nettle.

LIZ

It’s gorgeous.

HAZEL

It may need a new name in this day and age.

LIZ

I like blood tonic it makes me feel like a teetotal klingon. Do you know the etymology of teetotal?

HAZEL

I do not!

LIZ

It again comes from Preston

HAZEL

Preston has hidden depths.

LIZ

The leader of preston temperance society, cause there’s lots of local groups – supposedly said he was T-Totally against abstinence [sic] cause he had a stammer which is kind of mean.

HAZEL

It’s a good word though, teetotal.

LIZ

Yeah you think about cups of tea, I drink tea not alcohol, which fits with the early temperance movement, cause you couldn’t drink water that’s where diseases live. But you could heat water up and make beer or tea.

HAZEL

I guess he accidentally invented a really good term.

LIZ

That is assuming this story is true cause there’s always with these stories an element of did that happen though?

HAZEL

History became legend, legend became myth.

LIZ

But there are also temperance bars are kind of I wouldn’t say coming back, but ones have opened in the last decade, including one which given the history of the temperance movement is quite interesting, opened in Liverpool by Action on Addiction – which is a space for people who struggle with addiction to go and be in that dry environment.

HAZEL

That’s really good, yeah, cause I well cause I’ve read or gathered by talking to people that one of the unfortunate side effects of going to support groups is you make a load of friends who have addiction issues and it’s hard to distance yourself from that. It’s hard to have a social space that’s totally separate from anything that’s going to cause problems.

LIZ

And the fact it’s generally open unlike support groups means you can go and meet your friends there and you know it’s going to be a dry space.

HAZEL

There’s no pressure to, you can just hang out you don’t have to talk about anything that’s troubliing.

LIZ

Yeah, I mean just ask someone who doesn’t drink cause I don’t for no particular reason there’s alot of pressure just implicit to go out and have a drink, if someone was already struggling with addiction it’s so much more difficult you just end up not going out.

HAZEL

Yeah, I’m just it’s just nice to have that evening space that is non-alcoholic, I drink alcohol but I don’t necessarily want to do it every time I go out and when you’re out with other people and you’re in a bar it’s kind of you feel like because everyone else is drinking well I came out to a bar I might as well have a drink. It’s really good to have an alternative space.

LIZ

So yeah, a lot of the sort of drinks you would get at temperance bars you do still have now – I mentioned cream soda and colas and things, there’s also ginger beer, sarsaparilla which is big in the US.

HAZEL

What’s sarsaparilla made from? I’ve heard of it, only really heard of it from calamity jane.

LIZ

Sarsaparilla is a plant, it’s a kind of root beer. Interesting it was sold as an alternative to alcohol – it’s apparently really good for the liver.

HAZEL

The opposite of alcohol. Anti-hole. Delete that [I won’t].

LIZ

I do find it interesting how many of those things are made from roots though you’ve got sarsaparilla you’ve got ginger beer, dandelion and burdock again made from the roots of D&B plants.

HAZEL

I wonder how people learned about these flavours.

LIZ

I don’t know cause the fruit ones you can kinda see that you eat some fruit it’s fermented you feel good.

HAZEL

But roots…

LIZ

Like potato vodka as well what possessed you. I’m glad it went well but what possessed you.

HAZEL

What about all the times when it didn’t go well. Oh gosh. That’s cool I can see why temperance bars or non alcoholic bar things would become popular today, because apparently a lot less people drink today.

LIZ

Especially our generation apparently, they drink a lot less than other generations.

HAZEL

Compared with recent decades apparently that’s true, so good luck to the rise of temperance bars, though I hope it doesn’t become another expensive trendy thing.

LIZ

Oh it already is a lot of temperance drinks are expensive, once you get passt the colas and cream sodas. It starts to get pricey.

HAZEL

Yeah cause you can get these non-alcoholic spirits that are supposed to replace gin and things which sound nice but are expensive.

LIZ

I haven[‘t heard of those.

HAZEL

Yeah I think they’re called seablip it’s a kind of tastes a bit like gin it’s not gin it’s just sort of herbal distilled thing.

LIZ

Like a juniper pop.

HAZEL

Yeah it’s a concentrated one so you get some tonic.

LIZ

Sounds quite cool!

HAZEL

Yeah I like that idea so you can feel like you’ve got a gin and tonic but it’s non-alcoholic.

LIZ

Yeah that’s a brief introduction to temperance bars.

HAZEL

That was cool and now I want to go to one.

LIZ

I will add it to the hypothetical bread and thread roadtrip.

HAZEL

To preston!

A Probably Bad Plug.

LIZ

So what have you got for us for the local larder?

HAZEL

Ok this is a good one. Have you ever heard of a churdle?

LIZ

I have not it sounds like an old timey name for haemorrhoids.

HAZEL

It is not, it’s a kind of pie.;

LIZ

It sounds more pleasant.

HAZEL

Yeah, it does sound like something you’d say oh I’ve got a case of the churdles. It is a regional pie from Sussex.

LIZ

Oh…

HAZEL

Yeah it’s a kind of pasty, it’s made with a hot water crust and it’s traditionally filled with liver and bacon and herbs, sometimes mushrooms.

LIZ

Ooh offal and mushrooms.

HAZEL

Very traditional british. Offal and mushrooms. I’m not a liver fan to be honest, I find it quite dry usually.

LIZ

Sounds like you’ve had bad liver. You need to see it when you buy it cause it can be kind of grainy, and you’ve got to cook it so it’s just cooked otherwise it get chewy and dry.

HAZEL

Maybe I’ll give it another go sometime. Still slightly suspicious. there’s a liver theme in this episode.

LIZ

Yeah, I’ll cook you liver at some point.

HAZEL

Ok, we’ll-

LIZ

We’ll have to make churdles.

HAZEL

Yeah we’ll make churdles or two.

LIZ

(sings)

Got to make a churdle or two- sorry I may have watched Oliver! Yesterday.

HAZEL

So apparently the churdle possibly dates back to the 17th century and it’s the kind of thing that you’d take along to you to eat in the fields kind of like a cornish pasty and they’re not super popular anymore I don’t think I live in sussex and I have not seen a churdle I don’t know if it’s more of an old fashioned thing.

LIZ

People don’t eat offal anymore do they?

HAZEL

Yeah liver is a lot less popular than it used to be, and I found a couple recipes for it though so I guess it jmust be around somewhere and actually the best part is I have found a folktale involving churdles.

LIZ

We do love a folktale.

HAZEL

We do indeed and this folktale is about a dragon…

LIZ

Yes!

HAZEL

Or in Sussex dialect a nukka.

LIZ

A nukka?

HAZEL

And they live in nukka holes that are very deep ponds that you find in the south downs area they’re small circular ponds that go down very very deep, and there’s one in the village of Livington that is very famous for this story. The story goes there’s a great big nukka terrorising the towns, and the people sent to the mayor of arendell the biggest town in the area to send someone to get rid fo the dragon and the mayor put out a reward a big reward for anyone who can slay the dragon that was stealing sheep and terrorising people and probably eating mall children. But no-one took up this reward because even though it was a big reward they were all scared of this dragon until one young man came up and his name was either Jim Puttock or Jim Polk.

LIZ

Definitely Jimmy P.

HAZEL

Let’s call him Jimmy. Jimmy accepts the quest and he goes tot he blacksmith and orders a great big iron pot and goes to the miller and gets flour, and he goes to the woodsman and gets a big fire in the square and builds the biggest pudding anyone’s seen, pudding or pie and this was a churdle.

LIZ

No-one says where he gets the massive pile of liver.

HAZEL

Yeah best not, maybe he’s just got it, maybe he’s just a liver.

LIZ

He’s just a liver.

HAZEL

He just happens to have a large amount of liver he puts it in a churdle and makes a massive amount of churdle he puts it on a cart takes It to the nukka hole and leaves it there and hides. The nukka rises up and says what’s this – he comes out and says pudding – what’s that? – just try – he eats up the churdle and the cart and all, but what he doesn’t know is Jimmy has put deadly nightshade into the churdle and is thrashing around and crying out, and asks what was in that pie? And eventually due to the amount of deadly nightshade in the pie he dies. Jimmy takes his head down the local pub to prove he killed the dragon. And he’s celebrating in the local pub I can’t remember the name of it it might be the six bells, yes, it is, not sure it’s still there. He goes to the pub and orders a big flagon of ale. He wipes off the foam on the drink, but he forgot about the deadly nightshade on his pie, so he does.

LIZ

Oh no! Maybe he shouldn’t do the weird thing noone ever does of wiping off the foam with his hands.

HAZEL

Maybe they used to do it, in some places they have that fancy knife they wipe off foam with.

LIZ

Like in the stella adverts.

HAZEL

He is no more but his gravestone is in Livington and so’s the nukka hole you can go and see if you’re so inclined. The moral of the story is wash your hands everybody.

LIZ

Now more than ever.

HAZEL

And don’t put nightshade in your churdle.

LIZ

I think that’s about everything for today. If you want to suggest an episode or a local larder you can email breadandthreadpodcast@gmail.com

Hazel

You can follow us on twitter @breadandthread where I will put up some pictures of the inkle loom and I’ll put a link to this story of the nukka because there’s a version written in sussex dialect and it’s fantastic, we also have a patreon and a discord where you can chat exchange recipes and chat to your hearts content.

Liz

Leave a review if you can on wherever you’re listening, because that will make algorithms tell other people listen to us.

Hazel

It’ll also make our day. And we’ll see you next time.

Liz

Bye!

Closing theme.

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