Rosemary for Remembrance

Sooner or later the wheel of life means that we will all be touched by tragedy; either our own or other people’s. Once upon a time there was a bright, clever and funny little girl and one weekend a long time ago, she and I made bread together.

We had a lovely time knocking the dough about and decorating the rolls we made with every nut and seed in my kitchen cupboards. Sadly, the little girl grew up feeling all the tragedies of the world were on her shoulders and even the happy memories of a loving childhood couldn’t save her.

This week she couldn’t bear that burden any more and now she doesn’t have to.

Rosemary is for remembrance. Here’s Ophelia-

'There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray,

love, remember: and there is pansies. that's for thoughts….

There's fennel for you, and columbines: there's rue

for you; and here's some for me: we may call it

herb-grace o' Sundays: O you must wear your rue with

a difference…..

‘Hamlet’ Act IV Scene v

and here’s Friar Lawrence speaking of Juliet

‘Dry up your tears, and stick your rosemary on this fair; and, as the custom is, in all her best array bear her to church…

‘Romeo and Juliet’ Act IV Scene v

I've made a rosemary and fennel bread. It's good to remember.

450g strong flour - I used about 250/200 white to spelt

200ml water

75ml olivel oil plus more to sprinkle

1.5 tsp salt

1.5 tsp sugar

2.5 tsp instant yeast

Rosemary sprigs, fennel seeds, coarse salt

Semolina or polenta

Add water and oil to the dry ingredients and knead until smooth. Leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour

Roll out to an oblong about 15 inches by 10 and dimple the top with your finger tips. Sprinkle semolina on a baking tray and put the dough on it. Sprinkle over about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and then sprinkle with the herbs, coarse salt and seeds. Sprinkle with more semolina and leave to rise for another half an hour. Bake for 20 minutes at 190c.

You can pour more oil over it if you wish. This is great for tearing and dipping in a fruity oil.

We're having slow roast belly pork tonight so that plus this and a leafy salad with mustard dressing will be perfect.

We'll raise a glass.

I have a room wherein no one enters

Save I myself alone

There sits a blessed memory on a throne

There my life centres.

From 'Memory' by Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)


Karen S Booth said...

I am so dreadfully sorry......the bread and rosemary for remembrance is poignant and helpful I hope to you and her family.....and the poetry are some of my favourites....may she be in an eternal place of happiness and in your thoughts always.

Aldyth said...

Thank you Liz. We cried when we saw it but we love your tribute to our fabulous daughter. I hope everyone bakes the bread and raises a glass. She is now at peace and we all have great memories. And Karen - thank you for your kind words.

Aldyth, David and Sion

A Trifle Rushed said...

I am so sad and sorry for you, her family and her friends. How lovely that you could share a happy memory from her childhood for both her family and for yourself.
Deepest sympathy to you and all those who love and miss her.

pebbledash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pebbledash said...

Liz, I'm so sorry..... and to Aldyth, David and Sion, my sympathies and condolences for the loss of your daughter.

A beautiful post in tribute. Thank you.

Diana x

Ps sorry - I deleted my first post owing to a spelling mistake.

Mary Beth said...

Liz, I am always so excited when there's a new post on Feasts and Festivals. This one at first took my breath away- and then brought tears for the the intermingling of a joyful memory, a way to remember, and the loving gesture of a compassionate friend.

Prayers and comfort to Aldyth and family.

Liz said...

Thank you all for your kind thoughts for Aldyth and her family. Hold your loved ones close dear friends, they are all any of us have.

Grazing Kate said...

Sending my sympathy in the direction of you and the friends and family. Well done for finding the words and food to make a touching tribute.