I take The Lady magazine, which is a weekly magazine. I mainly take it because I enjoy doing The Ladygram, a puzzle not unlike a crossword but more complicated. But there are always some interesting articles in it too. One thing they print each week is a recipe from the past and today's recipe brought the memories flooding back, so I thought I would share them with you as a change from the gloom of feeling ill.
The recipe was for Caraway Seed Cake. I love it; you either love it or hate it I think. As a child, once a year without fail I had caraway seed cake, and that was during the Sunday School Anniversary week-end.
The Anniversary stretched over Saturday and Sunday, starting straight after lunch on the Saturday, when a piano was loaded on to a horse and dray (later on this was a lorry) and we children sat on benches as the horse wandered round the village. We sang our Anniversary songs, which we had been learning for months. Then we returned to the Sunday school room (attached to the chapel) where a tea was laid out waiting for us, and the ladies of the chapel were in attendance to wait on us.
Tea was always the same: Potted beef sandwiches, caraway seed cake, and small 'fancy' cakes baked by the ladies. One little girl, Norah, was rather plump - for reasons which will become obvious in a minute - and nobody ever wished to sit anywhere near her. Norah didn't eat sandwiches, she 'didn't like potted beef'and Norah didn't eat caraway seed cake she 'didn't like caraway seed cake' - so the minute the signal came to begin to eat, Norah started on the fancy cakes. The rest of us, brought up to eat sandwiches and plain cake before the fancy stuff would suffer greatly if we sat anywhere near Norah because by the time we got to the fancy stuff it had all gone!
After tea the room was cleared and we would play games - games which I am sure have died out these days: spinning the bread board, winking, oats and beans and barley grow, postman's knock - most of these involved kissing its most innocent form.
Sunday was Anniversary Day when we all sat on a big wooden platform and sang the songs again and each of us would have learned a poem to recite: Wordsworth's Daffodils, Browning's Home thoughts from abroad - that kind of thing.
The important thing for us girls was that we all had a new frock and a new straw hat - this would then become our best frock for the year. I still remember many of mine.
Such an important event in the village calendar and all brought back to me by that memory of caraway seed cake!