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.
You whisked meringues, light pancakes lest
Madam woke bored. You did not write
two recipes I loved the best
that dark blancmange, named ‘Chocolate Mould,’
which, quick, paid cook, you once coaxed whole
from fluted copper’s fragrant gold,
then spooned, for us, from your gilt dish.
African nights caressed slow tongues.
We tasted empires, bitter, rich.
How could you find fruit, in that flat
unflowered land? Air bloomed. You caught
the Barton bus, in your best hat.
Plum jam set August. Amber simmered
to slow taste, whole, spooned on warm sponge
as boots came off, Orion glimmered.
Summer, you said, for that Great War,
was like none after or before,
the loveliest you ever saw.
If you have any comments on this poem,
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.