March 17, 2012
A Good Start to the Day
Going out for Breakfast is one of life's indulgences for me.
and along with her aunty - Ingrid - we drove to Oxford to celebrate her 18th birthday with brunch at Seagars. Sublime.
and eaten from these Pyrex glass bowls, which I use as earthquake gauges in the Skudder House: none have jiggled off their narrow shelf in the past year or so. I have always thought they were decorated with ivy until today... As I prepared this photo for posting it dawned on me that the motif is more like white bryony than any other vine I can think of. Remarkable to realise that bryony was part of my identity before I knew it existed.
Childhood breakfasts were cooked on our coal range - which we fired with wood.
Porridge in all its manifestations may be what I was raised on but there were certainly cooked breakfasts on the weekend, which included porridge! And being cooked by a Yorkshireman, there was always black pudding to go with bacon and our own farmhouse eggs, as well as wild mushrooms in season. My mother's particular contribution was the fried bread. "Dip" she called it: and dipped it was, in the cooking fats. These were almost always saved from the roasting of meat and were tasty with jelly and "goodness," or cooked blood. My children gag at the mention of these things but I loved them. And although I also loved brains and sweetbreads, which were occasionally part of a cooked breakfast, they don't appeal to me now.
The range is a Shacklock 501, especially designed for New Zealand conditions: NZ coal burnt too hot for the imported English models!
Elwin (in the photo above), cleaned and refreshed the range in the first few weeks of our buying the Skudder House from my mother in 2010 - an act of claiming, and an act of transference from the family I grew up with, to the family I made for myself. It was also - not knowing that he only had a few months left to live - his way of showing me his commitment to realising my dreams.
and gathering together
...or because we missed celebrating together on Christmas Day!
My mother, my sister, our children and I breakfasted, and indeed dallied, in the Secret Garden for a whole day in January to make up for being apart in December.
And on occasions like these I always take the opportunity to mismatch as much of my tableware as possible!