My favourite food memory: the aroma of freshly baked brown bread

Lynda O’Keeffe, editor’s office

 Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

One of my distinct childhood food memories is of my grandmother baking brown bread in her farmhouse kitchen in Galway. A fresh brown “cake” was produced every day.

The wholemeal flour came from a four-stone grain bag, the buttermilk from the farm. There was no precise weighing, a few cups of this and that. It was all kneaded together in a giant tin bowl on the kitchen table.

We’d watch her working all the ingredients together with absolute perfection, a task she performed every day of her married life. The dough was turned out onto the table, worked into a round and transferred into a cast-iron skillet and placed into the range.

I can still remember the aroma as she took it from the oven and wrapped it in a tea towel. And then there was the waiting game – when would it be cool enough to cut open? The Kerrygold butter would be taken out of the press and thick layers lashed on. Happy faces all round.

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