Why did Maurice call on Sundays?

Maurice was Dad’s mate. Aka Man Mountain. He was a huge guy – at least 25 stone of him, all of which needed a decent amount of ‘fuel’. He picked his time to call. Always on a Sunday, when my father was ensconced in his world of model making (aeroplanes at this particular time). Maurice would pop in to see my Dad in the utility room (that’s what it was in them days) and have a chat, then sneak off to the kitchen to sample Mum’s buns.

The truth was that Maurice was unable to resist the call of her cooking. His wife did feed him but he would always give in to an illicit bun or three. He enjoyed Mum’s company and would stand, in the way, in our teeny-tiny kitchen, as mum skirted around him, rolling pin in hand.

Maurice really came to make away with one of Mum’s ‘quick bread’ rolls (no yeast in sight, you could bounce them off the wall the next day). WHO? slathered them in butter and added an inch-thick piece of cheese. Then he’d have a big slab of date and walnut cake almost cool enough to eat. Spotting a pasty on the side, he’d help himself to one. The pasties were filled with minced beef and parsnip, and the pastry was divine, short but light.

He was a beautiful man. I thought the world of him – we all did. He always arrived (and indeed left) with a smile and a joke. And underneath his arm would be a ‘pack up’ for the journey home – it would, after all, take a full 10 minutes to get there, if he strolled to the car.

Hand written bread recipe
Mum's quick bread

My Mum’s Quick Bread

Gas 6/ 200C for around 25 minutes.


25g butter
225g self raising flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
285 ml milk
Melt the butter and leave to cool slightly.
Add the flour and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre.
Beat the egg with the melted butter and 270 ml milk and stir it in the flour.
This will make a soft dough.
Cut the dough into four. Shape each piece into a roll and put it on a baking tray lined with parchment.
Pop it in the oven Gas 6/ 200C for around 25 minutes. When cooked the rolls will sound hollow when tapped on the base. Leave to cool.

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