Victorian Christmas Cake, poetry by Maurice Devitt at
Brett Jordan

Victorian Christmas Cake

Victorian Christmas Cake

written by: Maurice Devitt


Every year about this time
I go looking for your recipe,
hand-written and folded
into your Crosse & Blackwell Cookery Album,
secreted amongst hundreds of others
of mongrel provenance: clipped
with one continuous motion of a scissors
from a corner of the Evening Press;
handouts from a cookery course in Kelly’s
with Neven Maguire or torn from the pages
of Woman’s Way when the dentist’s
waiting room was empty.

I’ve never tried to bake it,
enough for me to unfold the page
and scan, with salty eyes, ingredients
and method, written in your spindly hand –
then you are there, sitting aproned at the kitchen table,
your hair a halo of flour, cup of tea
like a chalice in your hands,
and the smell of mixed peel and whiskey
crowding the room.

Latest posts by Maurice Devitt (see all)