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Page 10

Newsletter 87, Winter 2009 © Hampshire Mills Group
POETS CORNER FLOUR POWER
 

CHAIN GANG

John wheels the corn on the old sack trolley
To Mick the Miller
He’s no corn dolly!
Mick loops the chain
Around the sack
Which til he shouts is nice and slack
But when he hollers, “Haul away!”
The sack heaves up without delay
And slaps the flaps as it goes through
Up to the bins where, right on cue,
Basil frees the corn sack from its chain
Which drops back down to Mick again.

Mr Silman, foot on stair,
Keeps watch for empty sacks with care
As they’re slung down
 
From floor to floor
He carries out this safety chore.

Meanwhile, Bill weighs out the flour
Plus alongside Sheila by the hour
Labelling and bagging up
Longing for a cheering cup
Of tea to whet the dry old whistle
When Brian appears and says,

“Okay, this’ll - do”.  

S. M. Viner

Jotted down after well timed and rhythmic teamwork storing the latest supply of grain at Longbridge Mill.

17th May, 2005.

 

Wassail Cake 

“Be of Good Cheer!” and “I wish you a good health and bountiful harvest to last you through the winter” is basically what Wassail means.  The Wassail Cake contains whatever fruit, nuts and seeds are to hand so it is potentially the forerunner of what we know today as Christmas Cake.

At a Wassail Event, the cake is cut into small portions and a dry butter bean inserted into one portion.  These are handed around to the assembled company and whoever gets the bit with the bean in (and you try to ensure that a man gets it) is appointed King of the Bean to lead the event.

This basic tea bread recipe is the one concocted for the HMG stand at Blackmoor Apple Day this year.  You may prefer to add nuts and seeds and adjust the ingredient amounts depending how many people the cake is to serve. 

400ml cold tea (mine is a mix of Assam and Earl Grey teas*)

6oz  (180g) Dark Brown Muscovado Sugar;

1lb (500g) Dried Mixed Cake Fruit

3 teaspoons of powdered Cinnamon. 

Mix all ingredients well together and leave overnight.

On Day Two Mix 3ozs (90g) butter and 3 medium size beaten eggs into the fruit mix and add the lot to 12ozs (225g) Longbridge Stoneground Wholemeal Flour.  Stir until all the flour is absorbed.

Put the mixture into a large baking pan which you have greased and lined with greaseproof paper. 

Bake for 1.5 hours approx in a medium oven.  When cooked, leave it to cool before turning out onto a wire rack.  It is a very rich cake but can be served with butter.  However, it’s very heavy so don’t go swimming afterwards!

 *Half a packet of Earl Grey is mixed with a whole packet of Assam.  3 teaspoonfuls are used for afternoon tea in a standard sized teapot.

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