Quotes from The Virago Book of Food: The Joy of Eating
1909 - 92
During the Second World War, Comyns moved to the country to escape the Blitz. There she wrote her first book, Sisters by a River, based on her Warwickshire childhood. Her publisher chose not to correct her spelling and punctuation and even added to her eccentric mistakes.
Our kitchen had a dusty hot cross bun hanging from the ceiling, every good Friday they put up a new one, the old one turned into a kind of mummy, there were hams hanging up too and a side of bacon, Palmer cured the pigs in the saddle room in a large zinc trough, the maids said you mustn't watch him if you had a period or the hams would get bewitched and go all wrong, Mammy said this too. There were three kitchens altogether, all leading out of each other, they had stone floors with wells in the middle, they used to have their meals in the hot cross bun kitchen because there was a huge Eagle range there which heated the water and did the cooking, once a rat fell down the chimney right into the porrage, I've never eaten any since because it always seems to smell ratty.
We liked having tea with the maids, they gave us biscuits floating in our cups of tea and they always eat heaps of vinegar, after tea they used to sing, songs about dark eyed lovers, they always sounded like hymns.
Sisters by a River