Thursday 6 May 2010

Granddad's Pinstripe suit and Eggs with Bread and Butter

Recently, I think it was when I was drinking champagne for breakfast on May Day morning with some family members........(believe me....that doesn't happen very often).......I'm not sure how it came up, but I suddenly remembered granddad's navy blue, pinstriped, three piece suit that I used to wear. I was going through my Annie Hall/Katharine Hepburn phase at the time and it looked really good with braces(suspenders), a white vintage collarless shirt and black base ball boots. Well I thought so! Fortunately for me, he was very slim because I was very slim too. Although Annie Hall style does allow for a little bagginess!

I always remember my paternal grandfather, 'grandad Boardman' wearing a suit, even when he'd retired. Grandad would go shopping for fresh bread from the bakery every day. He'd put on his handmade brogue shoes, that he'd polished so highly you could almost see your reflection in, don his overcoat and hat, and pick up the turkey bag that was a little straw bag that the butcher used to give away with the Turkey at Christmas. When he returned he'd take off his jacket and put on a cardigan and a butchers striped apron. His clothes reminded me of those worn by the character Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mocking Bird, one of my all time favourite films.......They were real grown-up men's clothes.

I used to love looking in his dressing table drawers, where he kept the silver watch that he wore on a chain in the pocket of his waistcoat, when not in use. I remember opening smooth, round leather boxes that contained hair brushes, a squirrel shaving brush and cuff links. It was all so neat and orderly, I just loved it.

A couple of weeks ago I found a receipt for a check Crombie overcoat that he'd bought in 1952 for £35. That must have been a months salary!! He always had beautiful clothes....which is probably why I wanted to borrow them!

I had another reminder of grandad when Caz who writes the fascinating bird with the golden seed blog (which you must check out on ) reminded me about a childhood recipe for Eggs with Bread and Butter she'd discovered in Tessa Kiros's beautiful Apples for Jam recipe book. I'd totally forgotten that's how grandad used to make them for us.

...Although it really is a children's recipe I just had to try it once more..........So I did, whilst nobody was looking just to see if it would still conjure up those childhood memories.....
Although I prefer home-made brown bread I had to use white bread to recreate the authentic flavours. That's what he would have used. It would have been milkroll bought from the bakers shop at the end of the road.

...I couldn't find milk roll so bought Warburton's Toasty because it comes from the North of England where I come from, and it has nice waxed paper packaging, not plastic.

....And butter, not margarine or soya alternative. Just good old high cholesterol salty butter....... Butter the bread and then cut it up into little girl sized pieces and put them in a cup.

Then you have to boil an egg for exactly two and a half minutes. Then simply crack the egg into the cup, season with a little sea salt and mix it all up.
I was a little girl in my grandparent's house all over again...........

ps don't tell any one.......


  1. Great story and a great dish. Sounds so wonderfully simple. Real eggs, real butter, real bread. Yummo. And oh, what do men now have instead of all those leather and wood and silver and tin bits and bobs. And where does one find a man who will shine his shoes like that?

  2. What a lovely post Debby. It's a wonderful feeling to know that something I mentioned all the way over here prompted such warm memories for you over there. Your grandfather sounds like a true gentleman.

    Thanks for the complimentary words about my blog too!

  3. Thank you both. Yes he was a real gentleman. I'm really fortunate that my husband is too....although he doesn't polish his shoes!!!