When asked to share one of her family's traditional Christmas recipes, Pitt Meadows's own Annette Code admitted she was hard pressed to find one - because there weren't many to be had.
"I won't be sending in any family recipes unless I get an unexpected brainwave, which doesn't happen often any more," Code said. "So I thought you might be interested in why."
"My Mum learned to cook in England during the Second World War, during rationing. You must of heard about English cooking pre-1980.
My Mum was a great pastry maker but never had a recipe. She only had one cookbook. The rest was in her head, and she never measured anything.
She used a tea cup for flour. All our veggies were cooked beyond recognition, and she had never heard of, or seen broccoli before coming to Canada. I don't think she ever ate any either.
We had the same old things all the time. Carrots, potatoes, cabbage, turnip, parsnips - corn was for cows.
We had wonderful things like beans on toast, canned spaghetti on toast, herring on toast, cheese on toast.
Bacon and eggs with chips (fries) or sausages and chips, a real treat, was the traditional English breakfast.
Yum, black pudding! Her homemade porridge was horrid and by the time we came downstairs for breakfast and poured the milk on it the lump of porridge rose and floated in the bowel.
I wasn't very old when I gave that up. Christmas dinner: She finally did learn how to cook a turkey, but was happier with a big chicken. Dessert was a packaged English Christmas pudding for the grown ups with English custard, and we kids had jelly, two colours green and red, chilled each colour on an angle in a glass, with whipped cream and coloured sprinkles.
Gravy was made from Bisto. She did buy a Christmas cake, put almond paste on it and the hard icing, with a ruffled paper edging, a gold Merry Christmas on top and decorated with the hard little silver balls that are hard on fillings.
The house was decorated with holly on top of pictures and lots of metal-type paper chains that pull out and we hung these in windows and doorway and on the mantel. Bells in red and white, made of paper.
I don't make anything unusual, following in Mother's footsteps.
I used to make a mean pecan pie - from a Betty Crocker cookbook - with homemade pastry from the recipe (with the vinegar and egg) but my family prefers an ice cream cake, so I always get the DQ Christmas log as something resembling my British heritage.
We also have Christmas crackers and I insist we wear the silly paper hats.
I buy my packaged Christmas pudding in England from Harrod's store at the airport on the way home to Canada: a small one, as I'm the only one who eats it with British custard on top, the saviour of all British desserts. Doesn't matter how it turns out, custard covers all sins.
As I get older, I miss my Mum's cooking, or at least become nostalgic about it.
Cheers and happy Christmas!"
- Annette Code Pitt Meadows resident and avid historian