Years ago, while we were in Quarry Road and all the children small, our sister Helen had this wonderful idea ~ she asked each of us to send her the recipe for a favourite family dish ~ and then she gathered them all into a little book and we each got
a copy that Christmas. A really brilliant idea ~ I'm pretty sure it would have enriched our repertoires enormously as we all tried out all the different recipes ~ my contribution was our fishcakes, an absolute favourite still.
Mary in Jersey sent the recipe for traditional Jersey Bean Crock which is quite a lot of work but well worth it ~ and for a party, apart from plenty of good crusty bread, nothing more is needed ! The quantities she gives easily made
enough to feed our family with enough over for the next day. Now we are all veggies, I make it without the meat but with a pound of mushrooms instead, chopped quite small. De-lish !
Mary's Jersey Bean Crock
- 1lb of mixed dried beans (red, kidney, broad, haricot, butter or any available)
ham bone or pig's trotter
- 1 oz brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon black treacle
- 2 pints stock
- 2 oz dripping
- 1lb belly pork or lamb
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 3 onions cut into chunks
- bouquet garni
- black pepper and salt to taste and pinch of dry mustard
- tomatoe puree.
Method : soak beans
overnight in large basin of cold water, drain them and put in saucepan with ham bone, sugar and treacle, cover with stock and simmer for 2 hours; melt dripping in another large pan, brown diced meat, then add garlic, onions, tomato puree, herbs and seasoning,
put a layer of beans in a deep casserole and then a layer of meat mixture, then beans and meat alternately ending with beans, just cover with stock and cook in low oven for 3 hours at least adding more liquid if necessary and serve with crusty bread !
I have to admit I ignored this layering business and simply mixed it all in together before putting it in the slow oven. I don't think it made any difference. I don't seem to have my copy
of the recipe book any longer ~ must have passed it on to one of the children.
* * *
What a day it's been
~ there's little danger of feeling lonely in this yard.
7.20 Gowan turns up but without the Guardian which had not yet come through o Andersons. He took away the sack of old dust sheets and
other rags, and as he passed by the bench scooped up the rotten doormat which I was hoping the dustmen would take some time ~ all to throw in the back of his pick-up truck until he can go to the dump. 8.50 the man from Dalewood Laundry came to collect
my heavy duvet cover which I had thought would be enough for their machine but NO ~ later Eileen rang to tell me next time I can send duvet cover plus sheets and pillow cases and probably a bath towel as well ~ they have industrial-sized washing machines. 9.0
I rang Annabel on her mobile ~ she and Dave are up in Skye but last time she came to give me healing she said if I was in pain I must let her know and she would send distant healing ~ it was bad this morning, I could scarcely walk, but later she must
have done some of her magic as the hip suddenly felt much easier. 9.30 and Sue came to hoover through ~ this week she did top landing and bathroom, both flights of stairs, lower landing and bathroom, and the kitchen ~ all for £10, bless her
~ and it's really looking great ~ the stair carpet in particular coming up like new in all its rainbow colours ~ she isn't drinking tea or coffee at the moment so we had one of these rhubarb tea bags and a good chat before she left, taking Mary's birthday
card to post en route. Didn't dare have a serious flop as the laundry would be delivered any time, £6 and more instructions to send a proper load next time ~ it's since I was awarded the Attendance Allowance that I feel I can afford to send
bedding to the laundry once a fortnight ~ and the Dalewood one provides useful employment to people with handicaps and disabilities, so that's marvellous. 3.15 and Barbara is at the door, bringing me a leaflet about the White Rose organisation
which provides all kinds of services for the elderly and infirm (that's definitely me) living withing the Scarborough and Ryedale districts ~ including odd job men ! I couldn't think how I'd get by after Mick and Rosemary move down to Derby.
More friendly chat. Bath, and such a pleasure in Sue's sparkling clean bathroom ! 5.0 and started making supper, and then Mary and Tom, the couple who have bought the White House, stopped by for a chat and we spoke about HODs
~ they will be delighted to help me out this year and open their house next year when they will have settled in and had time to look into its history. Gorgeous UNHEALTHY supper ~ cold pork sausages (I'd cooked them earlier) with
Jersey potatoes, salad ~ an excuse to try the German mustard that Vera brought. And just settling down to watch the News when Richard Eshelby turned up to plant creeping herbs between the stepping stones ~ the kind which will spread horizontally
and thrive and smell sweet when stepped on. He'll come over for a proper session in the next few days ~ this time of year with everything romping away, he's worked off his feet and wasn't expecting to be home much before 9pm tonight.
Such a nice chap.
Some day, folks ~ but full of warmth, kindness and friendship ~ I feel very fortunate. Realise that when talking to Barbara about her work with old people, I keep referring to them
as "your old dears" which is terribly patronising of me, especially as I am certainly as old as most of them myself !
Reading my piece about the Midsummer Sunrise, Sue tells me she and her daughter are inspired
to do the same this Saturday morning ! Great ! I wish I could join them, but can scarcely get to the washing line today, never mind up the 199 steps and along the clifftop path, scrambling over fences etc. Sad though it is, I
have to face my limitations !
Tomorrow I'm off to Bridlington Eye Clinic again ~ haven't been since February I think so do hope there is no deterioration ~ and no need for the bloody injection. Oh Lord
~ 10.0pm ~ I want to finish this wonderful book by Ronald Blythe ~ can't remember its title this moment, all about the interesting people settled around Aldborough ~ musicians, artist and writers ~ I'll tell you tomorrow. And so Good Night !
Tuesday morning ~ had messed up arrangement for Patient Transport to pick me up, so having bustled round getting straight and sat waiting for an hour, suddenly
wondered whether I had in fact booked transport ~ AND HADN'T !! It was because I cancelled the May appoinment and somehow forgot to re-book transport for today ! Next trip to Bridlington with be in July ~ July 15th, and have booked
transport already ! I am an idiot !
The book by Ronald Blythe is "The Time by the Sea ~ Aldeburgh 1955-1958" fascinating story of all the musicians, artists and writers drawn to the Suffolk coast in
those years, Benjamin Britten's circle. I seem to be hooked on Ronald Blythe and have read several of his books lately ~ one in particular grabbed me : "At the Yeoman's House" the story of his house, Bottengom's Farm in the Stour Valley ~ almost a meditation
on past and present, the blurb tells us. Years ago when it first came out I'd read his famous Akenfield ~ so good to find all these other titles of his. Heart-warming stuff.