The truth is that at the end of a well-savored meal both soul and body enjoy a special well-being…

Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

The Aga stove was the heartbeat of the kitchen with its four ovens, two large hot plates, a warming plate and hot water system. It was loved and cared for, coke fuelled- three times a day.

In the 1950’2 and 1960’s a rural woman’s ‘career’ was to feed and nurture the family and support the men who did the outdoor physical work.

My mother was earnest in that role- she was a competent cook, gardener, dressmaker and hostess as well as being an immaculate ironer and keeper of linen.

I spent many happy hours in the kitchen with her –watching, cutting, licking, stirring, fetching. As a young child I was trusted with the responsibility of preparing and serving meals for the large family.

Routines were embedded in the productive kitchen that presented three meals a day plus ‘smokos’ at regular times dictated by the weather and the men’s working schedule.