Family life: A snapshot resemblance, loving neighbours and pork fillet
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Snapshot: A family resemblance
When this photo of my granddaughter was printed, it reminded me so much of one of my sister at the same age that I have them both up in the kitchen where visitors are struck by the resemblance.
Nine-year-old Suzy was in seventh heaven last year at Disney World, enjoying a cup of “butterbeer” after a long-promised swim with the dolphins.
For my sister Carol (now 78) heaven was all about horses, and this photo shows her heading for the pony-trap with some of the harness (the collar I think) balanced on her head. Years later, after specialising in ceramics at art school, she married a farmer and was able to combine her business with that of the farm. She made pottery with the always popular horses, either modelled or slip-trailed on dishes and mugs.
Although Suzy lives in America and Carol in Devon, these two have found, on family visits, much warmth and shared interest in the pottery and livestock on the farm, especially her great-aunt’s cherished hens and their “much nicer than supermarket” eggs – almost as blissful as the butterbeer of Disney World.
It is anybody’s guess what Suzy will continue to delight in as she grows up, but mine is that animals and “making things” will be at the top of her list.
Playlist: Green limeade and magical furniture
Morningtown Ride by the Seekers
“Train whistle blowin’/ Makes a sleepy noise/ Underneath their blankets/ Go all the girls and boys/ Rockin’, rollin’, ridin’/ Out along the bay/All bound for Morningtown/ Many miles away”
I was six and had a new baby brother whom I adored. We lived in a semi-detached house next door to that of an older couple and their grownup children, Peggy and Eric – lovely people who had been very good to my own family.
At weekends, when Peggy was off work, I was allowed to make the journey through a hole in the hedge between our gardens and visit her. In her house were the twin treats of vivid green limeade (drank at the kitchen table, and certainly not on the menu in our own home) and, in the lounge, a record player cabinet that stretched across the width of the window. Like a small sideboard, with two built-in speakers, this was a magical piece of furniture and I was allowed to choose which record to play on it. I always chose Morningtown Ride, with its cheery images of sleepy boys and girls.
It was a comforting song, and with these kind people I felt cherished and safe.
More than 25 years later, I was in hospital having given birth to our long-awaited baby daughter. During the first night following my caesarean, I had been confined to my bed. The next night, I walked slowly and painfully along the corridor to visit our little girl in the nursery. I sat, rapt, watching her in her plastic cot, surrounded by other sleeping babies and only vaguely aware of the music coming from a nearby radio. Suddenly, there was the song of my childhood playing. I hadn’t heard it for years and I was back instantly with Peggy in her lounge.
I cried, of course, so much that the nurses were concerned. Not just because I was unspeakably happy, sore and full of hormones but because I was remembering what it had been like to be so loved by family and neighbours.
A new journey was beginning and all I wanted was for our daughter to be cherished and safe as I had been.
We love to eat: Pork fillet with sage
2 pork fillets
A little white wine
Fresh sage leaves
Take a couple of pork fillets and cut into slices and flatten out. This can be done by placing the slices between sheets of greaseproof paper and beating with a rolling-pin. Fry the slices in butter until golden and turn to fry the other side. Add the juice of two lemons, perhaps a little white wine and some fresh sage leaves. Leave to simmer for about 10 minutes and serve with salad, rice, mash, polenta or flageolet beans.
My first acquaintance with pigs came early on. My parents, having acquired a cow and chickens decided that a pig was necessary to complete their smallholding in the village of Nether Kellet, Lancashire, and their ideas of self-sufficiency.
So, Enid arrived to become part of the family. She was a very large, white, dignified sow and arrived sitting upright in the passenger seat of the farmer’s shooting-brake. We were enchanted.
I suppose Enid’s function was to produce babies, and I remember her giving birth one night to at least 10 piglets. That is all I remember of her; perhaps my parents decided pig-rearing was not for them so, although her arrival is a vivid memory, I recollect nothing of her departure. I do remember Houdini, though; I suppose he was one of dear Enid’s children. He was an escapologist and managed to jump his way over the highest wall and escape from the most solid of pens.
We never killed the pigs ourselves, but sent them off to market to be professionally dispatched – somehow, intuitively, the pigs seemed to know it. My mother usually spent frantic moments chasing them round the garden when they showed their reluctance to be herded into the lorry, so there were crushed flowers, broken cloches and an out-of breath parent; pigs and Mother all uptight.
The return from market was a rather more sedate affair. The pig was divided up and dealt with. The previous owner of our house, Mr Fleming, who looked and dressed like something out of Thomas Hardy, used to come and claim the trotters and the ears; no way were we eating those!
The pig’s head went for brawn, the hams were cured and the lesser cuts made tasty patties. The fillet makes for quick, easy cooking when time is short. Sage flourished at Church farm, Mum added the lemon juice and the result was and is irresistible.
We’d love to hear your stories
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via Art and design: Photography | guardian.co.uk http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/jun/08/family-resemblance-loving-neighbours-pork-fillet Thanks for reading Jay
Posted on June 8, 2013, in Photography News and tagged Art and design: Photography | guardian.co.uk, arts, guardian, IFTTT, info, information, journal, news, newspaper, photo, photography. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.