As a young woman my mother left home (which was not a happy one) and found lodgings with a Methodist minister and his wife. Childless themselves, they took her into their hearts as well as their home and became "Auntie" and "Uncle" to her. For my brother and myself Auntie and Uncle were grandparents in all but name and dearly beloved. They both died over thirty years ago, but I still miss them badly.
Sorting through my mother's bookshelves last week we unearthed two old and battered cook books that were Auntie's. The first is a tatty memo book with recipes handwritten in pencil. The second is the A.B.C. Cookery Book, a small book held together with tape, published in Blackburn, Lancashire, in 1928. Both are full of simple recipes - old-fashioned home cooking (my strong point), not fancy dishes for entertaining (I don't go there!). What a joy it will be to keep memories alive through this special link between Auntie's kitchen and mine.
Here ia recipe from Auntie's notebook, to whet your appetite ...
(or cookies, if you speak American! I chose this recipe because my mother used to live with Auntie and Uncle in Shrewsbury - home of Cadfael, Ellis Peters' monk detective.)
4 oz (½ cup) butter
4 oz (½ cup) sugar
little lemon rind or 2 oz (¼ cup) currants
about 8 oz (2 cups) flour
Beat butter and sugar to cream. Add lemon rind or currants. Add beaten egg and flour alternately. Form into paste, Turn out on floured board, roll out thinly, cut, put on greased tin. Bake in moderately hot oven 10-15 minutes.