Saturday, 7 December 2013

Stirring Up Memories

Consciously and unconsciously, Dad taught me a lot of important stuff during his life, including the value of respect, a love of music and the joy of laughter. To my eternal regret, however, one thing I never did learn from him was his own unique bread recipe, which he'd perfected after many years of tweaking. He tried to share this secret with me on a couple of occasions, but my mind was elsewhere and as he never wrote it down, it's now gone forever. He did teach me his method for making good porridge though. I guess the time that it took was about perfect for my attention span. Now that the porridge season is upon us, I often find myself, early in the morning, coffee in hand, standing over a steaming saucepan of oats, with Dad's voice echoing down the years, '...stir, stir, stir, stir......keep stirring.....don't stop's very important that you keep stirring.....that's the secret of good porridge....never stop stirring.....' Not so much a method as a mantra. I stir Dad, I stir, but it never tastes as good as yours did.

On the subject of oats, I found this old sheet music in a charity shop last week and it sparked a warm glow of recognition. I became aware of 'Mairzy Doats' at 7 or 8 years of age via BBC Radio's Junior Choice, where 'Stewpot' played the contemporary version by The Innocence, while Dad, of course, was already familiar with the song from previous recordings dating back to his own childhood in the 1940's. Together he and I would sing this silly little song ad infinitum, much to Mum's bemusement. That's another thing Dad taught me - there's nothing wrong with a little silliness every now and then.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful post. Your Dad sounds a true gem. How well I recall 'Mairzy Doats' from Junior Choice.

C said...

What lovely memories, beautifully told - and I bet your well-stirred porridge is delicious!

Great sheet music too. I know the song but I don't know where I first heard it as I wasn't a frequent listener of Junior Choice. I'm wondering if my mum used to sing it, perhaps that's it.

The Swede said...

Thanks for the kind words folks. My porridge is ok, but what I wouldn't give for another slice of Dad's bread.

C. Perhaps you're thinking of the version by Leland Palmer in Twin Peaks?

John Medd said...

It probably won't taste as good as The Swede Senior's bread, but if you email me your address I'll gladly post you (gratis, of course) a loaf of Medd's Bread.

Old Pa's Corner said...

You Dad sounds a good is strange how some things do not taste quite the same even that you use the same ingredients and as near as possible the same way of cooking.
Everybodies Mince tasts different as is their Spagbol. One of lifes mysteries.

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