Primrose’s knarred hands kneaded the elastic dough and her mind wandered off to days long ago. It took her to those halcyon days when the sun shone longer than she was allowed to stay up. This was when she first learnt the art of ...
Primrose’s knarred hands kneaded the elastic dough and her mind wandered off to days long ago. It took her to those halcyon days when the sun shone longer than she was allowed to stay up. This was when she first learnt the art of baking. Her father, and his father, had owned a bakery, tucked neatly onto the side of a country road. It stood next to their cottage, where wisteria cascaded from roof to floor and this was where their family lived for generations. The sweet scent of baking bread was the smell of her childhood and the early mornings meant her father in later years, slept in the afternoons, in the chair by the back door with his empty pipe and a daily newspaper across his lap. Her mother would check him regularly, in between her chores and with a finger to her lips in front of a loving smile, gently warn her not to wake him. Her busy hands continued to wash and tidy as she stole adoring glances at her weary husband. That was an image of true love, the look on her mother’s face when she looked at her father.
A bumble-bee flew in through the cottage window and cheerfully buzzed towards the jug of flowers picked from the garden. She watched it settle as her hands still worked the dough. The current buns were Poppy’s favourite and she would be visiting in a few hours. Her lined face curled into a smile, at the thought. How lovely to think her family still carried on the tradition of naming the girls after flowers. Her mother was Violet, her daughter Lilly and now there was Poppy. Poppy was training to be a chef and Primrose loved her visits on her way home from work, dressed in her whites. Pride would prick at her eyes each time, “Let me look at you Poppy, don’t you look fine?” she would say as Poppy indulged her Gran with a twirl and a curtsey. It was Granny who first taught Poppy how to bake, who ignited the spark of the kitchen within her heart. Poppy was proud of her family heritage.
Primrose damped her cloth, covered the bowl and popped the dough in the warming oven at the bottom of her Aga. She would have them freshly baked for Poppy’s arrival, along with a pot of tea. She wiped her stiff hands on her floral ‘pinny’ and sunk onto her rocking chair. The rhythmic movements made her eyes heavy and before long slumber engulfed her. She was whizzing through the grass, passed the sweet-smelling wildflowers trailing behind her a red kite. The exhilaration of youth flooded her veins and squeals of delight escaped her lips as the kite finally soared high up above her, to the applause of her parents. Both stood by the back door and when the applause finished they walked towards her, their hands firmly entwined and faces alight with happiness.
When Poppy arrived to see Granny, she came through the back door, but instead of her usual fussy greeting, was surprised to see her sleeping in the chair. The familiar waft of currant buns tickled her nose and she filled the teapot with boiling water from the kettle on the stove before gently kissing Granny’s weary hands, with fondness. Tears clouded her eyes as she looked upon her slumbering Granny, as her mind chased away the reality of her frailness. When the chair began to rock, and Primrose’s eyes blinked open, her hand reached and wiped away the tears which streamed down Poppy’s cheeks.
“Well I must have fallen asleep my love – Let me look at you! Oh come on now, no tears, let’s get that tea poured. Those currant buns have been baked with love just for you Poppy!” Poppy took a tissue from her pocket and wiped her nose before pouring the tea. She took a bite out of the warm delicious bun and her mouth watered. There would never be a better tasting one than the those which Gran made her, and she relished every last crumb as though it were her last. These moments, sat in the warmth of Granny’s kitchen were also to be savoured because one day she would have to make her own currant buns, and no matter how accomplished as a chef she would become, Granny’s would always be the best.