Bulls in the paddock, baking and bicycling


A-Z challenge - My memories of life on the farm in the nineteen fifties and sixties

Bull

Was it fearsome? Probably not.

Each day we walked about 300 metres out to a main road to catch the school bus. Often there was a bull in the paddock next to the dirt track. I remember always being frightened that he would charge.There was a fence between us and the bull, so my fears were probably unfounded but I always walked along the other side of the track, preferably with a sibling between me and the bull. If he was grazing near the fence, we ran to get past him as quickly as possible.

Biscuits

One of the first things I learnt to cook was a batch of biscuits. My mother baked both cakes and biscuits weekly to cater for school lunches, for morning and afternoon teas, for paddock work and to have a supply on hand for any visitors. Chocolate Crackles and Honey cornflake crackles were easy to make for a beginner. Shearing time meant increased baking to feed the extra men on site. Cakes and biscuits were taken over to the shed along with a big pot of tea in the middle of the morning and again in the afternoon.

Mum liked any variety of biscuit made with peanuts. Ginger was also a favourite, so here in her handwriting, is her recipe for Crisp Ginger Biscuits.
crisp ginger biscuits

A bicycle for the three youngest

One Christmas about 1957 my sisters and I became the proud owners of a blue bicycle. The dirt track was rough so spills were common as we learnt to ride.  One day when it was my turn I rode without any shoes. The subsequent gravel rash and bleeding toes ensured I quickly learnt the necessity of adequate footwear. Unfortunately punctures were common so I suspect we had limited rides.

Next C – Cars for carting

Comments

  1. I loved reading this post Carmel. Your bicycle story brought back memories for me of when my Dad very patiently taught me to ride. I plan to cook the ginger biscuit recipe very soon.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, I just noticed there are no times or temperatures in the biscuit recipe. I guess that was because she had been cooking for so many years that by the time she wrote this down, she no longer needed those details.

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  2. It never hurts to be too careful around bulls. The recipe looks fun to try too!

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  3. Oh wow! As a kid we often visited the farm in Gippsland, Vic, of my dad's best mate. I called them Uncle Colin and Aunty Jean. Anyway, she used to make those bickies for the shearers. I can smell them in the oven! Thanks for taking me back.
    Http://wendyoftherock.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thanks for visiting and leaving your link. I will enjoy your posts.

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  4. The memory of receiving my first skinny-wheeled bicycle sticks with me. Living in the country meant long walks to get anywhere. A bicycle opened up a whole new world of access. No bull, though. Scary.

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  5. Hi CR - Bulls always used to worry me too, while biscuits as a kid were delicious home baked ones, and then your blue bicycle - fun times and happy memories ...as well as those cuts, scars and scrapes - yugh - gravel and no shoes ... I remember a few too ... cheers Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/b-is-for-british-breeds-introduction.html

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  6. The bull probably could have pushed over the fence but did not know he had the strength so you were safe.

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  7. Thanks for sharing your mom's recipe. The biscuits are all time favourites and your biscuits are really looking yummy.

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  8. Hahaha, I've grown up around bulls and momma cows so I definitely know what you're talking about here. Great post... I can't wait to see more!

    Today's A-to-Z Post

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  9. Enjoyed your entry, especially the cookie recipe in your mother's own hand. I treasure the recipes my mother left me. I grew up in Oklahoma so bulls were not uncommon in our rural neighborhood. Mother knew very well how to deal with them when they got into her garden. She shouted and flapped a tea towel at them. She used the same method for unruly dogs.

    http://thebookwright.blogspot.com/

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  10. REALLY enjoyed this. Must have been nice, growing up on a farm.

    Baby Boomers - sheltered from life's fallout??

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  11. Some lovely memories. I have a handwritten cookbook with both my mother's and grandmother's handwriting so you have inspired me to look up some of the recipes. Both my grandmothers cooked for shearers as well.

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    1. Those were very busy days with shearers around. Morning tea, cooked hot meal in the middle of the day then afternoon teas as well. Just as one was finished it was time to prepare the next, just as exhausting for Mum as for the men.

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  12. I remember my grandmother teaching me how to bake. There were no recipes and no measurements beyond the

    "I fill the green bowl 1/2 full of flour and add a scoop of sugar" (it was the scoop the lived in the sugar container) It was a lot of fun trying to figure out how to take her directions with me without emptying her kitchen. LOL

    Thank you for a lovely post. I will be back.

    You can find me here: https://johawkthewriter.com/2017/04/03/a-to-z-challenge-b-is-for-benevolent/

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    1. So true and the half cup would be the green cup not the larger white cup. I guess many professional chefs cook like that as their experience from years guides them.

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  13. I've enjoyed reading the comments as much as the original post!

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  14. Love the recipe in your mom´s handwriting - glad you kept that. I have a few in my great grandmother´s handwriting that my mom scanned and sent out to all of the relatives.

    Ouch! The barefoot bike riding!

    Emily | My Life In Ecuador

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  15. Carmel - you are fortunate to have so many family photos and papers - thanks for sharing them. I loved your Mum's handwriting - quite stylish.

    Jill - Blogging the #AtoZChallenge at ballau.blogspot.com

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  16. My grandfather had a bull at the farm and always warned me to stay away and to never wear anything red as he would charge. That was the wrong thing to tell me as I always took a red cloth with me to test him, walking cautiously inside the fence, watching him as he watched me. But he never came toward me, instead he just grazed out in the field. Later I felt he told me that to just keep me out of the field.

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