Farmhouse cooking

Image by Fabien from Pixabay

Gran toils on In the foreman’s house
The old black range is always lit
Her foreman husband, live in hands
With horses plough and reap and sow.
Flour comes in half stone sacks
Making bread a gargantuan task.
Boiled bacon, bread, the daily breckus
‘Llowance time, thick pastry slice
It’s Dinner now and men need food,
More ‘llowance in the afternoon
Harvest time and we carry the tea pails
To hot dusty fields where corn is cut
The rabbits caught – a bonus prize.
Enamel mugs, warm bramble pastry,
At last tea time with daylight long
Potatoes, rabbit stew most days.

I’m six years old, I have my tasks,
As Heart in mouth I slip my hand
under sitting hens, collecting eggs.
cut home cured bacon tiny size
– pastry sandwiched for bacon pies.
Pick brambles – they make purple jam
Place eggs for winter in Isinglass.
Wipe the ones my Gran sells on,
“We need a feather in each bag”.
She says to me as work continues.
Wide pot bowls have cream to skim
Butter to churn, pat, mould and weigh
Cabbage leaves for green cool wrapping
Farm eggs and butter – Saturday market.

How hard she worked my tiny Gran
The food was simple, country, good,
Curd tarts, spice bread, steamed treacle pud.
No microwave, no fridge, no mixer,
No need for workouts, gym subscriptions.
A guest told me I did farmhouse fare
I thought of Gran, her spirit’s still here.


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