Posted by: digibirder | April 16, 2006

Sad and happy day

Started off today meeting Keith’s sister, her husband and their son, who travelled over from Lancashire, at Hutcliffe Wood Garden of Remembrance, as it is five years since Keith’s mum died and nine since his dad died, but the book of remembrance is open today for both of them. We had their names entered for today, rather than the dates they died, as it was their wedding anniversary. Also, at this time of year, the gardens are quite colourful. We placed some flowers in the remembrance room and then walked to the spot where their ashes were scattered. The scillas that we planted are coming through and there were other floral tributes scattered around the gardens, so it was quite emotional.

We were going to go and find a pub to have some lunch, but being Easter we thought it might be a bit difficult to find anywhere, so we rustled up a risotto before we left this morning and we all came back here for food, which didn’t take long as it just needed warming through. Oh, and we sampled a shot or two of vodka and opened a bottle of wine!!

After lunch we were trying to decipher the Polish on the box of chocolates Keith brought back. The only way to find out what they were was to eat them! I found a word ‘ponco’ and thought it sounded similar to the word ‘ponceau’ which I remembered was an additive (it transpires that it’s E124 and connected with hyperactivity in children). Anyway, a search for my old guide to additives resulted in me finding a couple of books I don’t remember buying. I must have bought them from a book fair or similar. One, entitled ‘Tranquilisation with Harmless Herbs’, kept us amused for some time, but the second book, called ‘The Herb Garden’ published in 1951, was a classic. I hadn’t read either book, but this second one was even more hilarious than the first. It contains recipes for Treacle Posset and Swede Syrup, and a whole chapter dealing with ‘Constipation and its Prevention’. All manner of ailments are dealt with. I happened to turn to one chapter on ‘Other Rustic Remedies’ and wondered what this ‘Puppy Dog Pie’ was. So, for your delectation, this pie was a popular remedy in Yorkshire, says the book, for ‘standing bronchitis’ and hacking coughs. Apparently it was horrible, made by “…stewing an old owl with two small puppies. Sometimes the puppies were omitted and the recipe was stewed owl only. It is difficult to imagine how any sufferer could be brought to swallow such a broth.”

So, by this time we were in stiches and Jane kept finding other snippets to read out. I haven’t laughed so much in ages. Some of it is disgusting, with spiders and their webs being ingested for broken sleep, and cockroach tea for kidney disease. Yuck!! Good job this was after we’d eaten.

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Responses

  1. best to remember the happy times i guess

  2. There’s a local version of “Puppy Dog Pie” …. “Bow Wow Pie”; you can read about it here : http://www.gadarg.org.uk/essays/e005.htm

  3. Fascinating site, Anne. There are some strange traditions around, that’s certain.


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