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Denis Marshall Pickles
Sunday, October 2, 2011 16:30
Trash or Treasure?
Maybe you are like me and have a drawer in the kitchen dresser in which accumulates all manner of odd items - bits and pieces which I think may come in handy for something someday or maybe I think that they are too valuable to throw away. I keep meaning to de-clutter, but the exercise seems fated to fail! The other day I plucked up courage and steeled myself to consign at least some of the contents of that drawer to another container which stands near the back door and which my Council still empties on a weekly basis. I extracted a few items ………. but most found their way back again! Out went the half dozen or so perished rubber bands, bits of string and a few old ball point pens which, despite scribbling the point on a newspaper for a few minutes, failed to produce a line. The partly filled Green Shield Stamp Book also went [that must have survived three house moves] as did a number of coupons cut from washing powder packets, coffee jars and packs of toilet paper all promising me large savings on my next purchase and all of which had expired! I returned the odd unused battery, the keys for unknown locks and I couldn’t bear to dispose of the postcards from foreign parts sent by friends who invariably wished that I was sharing an exotic beach with them [I might find someone who collects foreign stamps!] And there’s no way that I shall throw out a collection of recipe books, hand written by my mother when she attended night school classes at the Mechanics Institute in Keighley [chewed by Alan or myself when teething!]. Nor will I part with the recipe book complied by my wife when we were starting out on married life. There is also an interesting piece of memorabilia in with the Recipe books which I will retain. It’s a copy of ’Yorkshire Recipes’ by Yorkshire Housewives published by the Yorkshire Observer, price 3 pence. Each recipe, originally published in the newspaper pre-war, carries the name of the housewife who submitted it. Several from Crosshills, but as far as I can see, only one from Sutton - Mrs A Fortune, 14 Ravenstone Gardens. She had her recipe for Sweet Crackneys published.

Perhaps you might think that with this interest in old recipe books that I do a lot of baking. I confess that I do very little these days [does anyone?] but a few years ago I had a keen yearning for some of my mothers Parkin. Not ginger bread, proper Parkin! In the words of my illustrious distant relation, I decided to ’have a go’, found the recipe, assembled the ingredients and made up the mixture. I didn’t have trouble with the measurements which were given in cupfuls and handfuls but I came unstuck when it came to the method of converting the mixture into Parkin. No oven temperatures nor baking times were given! So I contacted one of my mothers contemporaries in Sutton by phone. Mary Webster [nee Lowcock] will know if anyone does, I thought. Mary listened to my query and told me that Parkin should be baked ‘in a moderate oven until it is firm to the touch’. I managed to hit on the correct ’moderate oven’ temperature but determining when it was ‘firm to the touch‘, was much harder. When I had decided that the Parkin was indeed, ’firm to the touch’, I removed it from the oven and set it aside to cool. It looked like Parkin but if I had baked a couple of dozen I could have used the end product as stepping stones across the lawn! However all was not lost. I soaked the ginger concrete in milk, made some custard and enjoyed a palatable ginger pudding.

Oh! And why am I keeping last years calendar?
Howard Barrett
Sunday, October 2, 2011 20:43

It's a "man thing" and we all have a "man drawer".

See whether you can relate to the short video on this link?

You might need to paste it into your browser.
Andrew Monkhouse
Hanoi, Vietnam
Monday, October 3, 2011 00:09
Denis, I can’t believe you ditched a partly filled Green Shield Stamp Book. I know it’s totally useless and long since defunct, but some things are sacramental and a partly filled Green Shield Stamp Book fits into this criteria!

Joking aside (not really) you may be pleased to hear you’re not alone on this one Denis. I too am a hoardaholic.

I have several boxes (not just a drawer) full of clutter that I couldn’t even begin to consider parting with. For example I have retained EVERY pay slip from every job I’ve ever had since leaving school. The first few years worth of pay slips are hand-scrawled – no PCs back then. These days my pay slips arrive electronically via email, but of course I make a point of archiving them into a PAYSLIP folder so they are not lost!

There are many more cherished treasures in my boxes, beauty of course being in the eye of the beholder. But as we all know, there are no pockets in shrouds, so I will be bequeathing these ‘precious’ boxes of total clutter to my children in good family tradition. When I finally meet my maker, my kids are going to take one look in these boxes and say “What the hell, a box full of pay slips……..WHERE’S THE MONEY”
Brenda Whitaker
Queensland Australia
Monday, October 3, 2011 00:56
Thank you gentlemen for making me smile - just what was required today.
Brenda Whitaker
Queensland Australia
Monday, October 3, 2011 01:37
P.S. - Andrew - a month ago I threw out my pay slips from 30years at Air New Zealand ...mmm - I still kept a number of letters advising increases in salary etc I just couldn't go the whole hog.!
Denis Marshall Pickles
Monday, October 3, 2011 07:49

Glad I helped put a smile on your face. Changing the subject, it wasn't until too late that I realised that I'd been in the company of your little brother Bruce a month ago. Perhaps you've seen it already but if not, check out click on Photos, Reunion 2011, pg 2. There is the lad with Gill! He looks well!
Brenda Whitaker
Queensland Australia
Monday, October 3, 2011 09:33
Hi Denis
thanks for the 'heads up' on the website photos for KGBS. Bruce is still on his holiday so haven't had any contact for 6 weeks. He is due home on Friday so I will take pleasure in saying I saw him in a suit and tie, not the usual shorts and T shirt we all tend to wear...thanks again.B

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