Based on a handwritten notebook of recipes from Dorothy Eliza Barnes, (Dot), my grandmother, a shepherd’s wife, who had worked as an Edwardian cook.

Page one, Aunt Margaret’s Pudding.
Take half a pound of flour,
three ounces lard (or butter), egg,
milk, sugar, Baking Powder.
Spread jam in basin, summer gleam.
Poke fire! For ninety minutes, steam.
She took for granted custard,
the sea all puddings swam,
yellow as straw, farmworkers’ food.
In frost, the men tramped home.
Moon glittered.  No one knew how lard
would line and leave their arteries hard.
But when I came home, you worked late,
our workshop gloomed with cold,
I bought flour from the corner shop
sacked cupboards for old bowls.
Softly the mixture dropped.  I too
spooned Margaret’s hot jam sponge for you.

Alison Brackenbury

If you have any comments on this poem,  Alison Brackenbury  would be pleased to hear from you.

This poem is from Alison Brackenbury's new collection of poems (and recipes): Aunt Margaret's Pudding, to be published in April by Happenstance Press.

aunt margaret's pudding