The “Whummlet’t” Chicken – Monday December 1902

One of our laying chickens shows unmistakeable symptoms of a desire to sit, and we have had to”whummle’t.” We discover that, owing to a succession of petty circumstances, we are out of all varieties of biscuits, cakes, buns etc, and reduced to the simplicity of plain bread. But, as this is washing day, and tomorrow bread-baking day, we think we shall contrive to “put by” and bake a various store of good things tomorrow.

However, as the sun is shining and the roads good, we have caller number one, early in the afternoon; come out we consciously feel, to spy the barrenness of the land. As she must return before dark, we give her a cup of tea and pass her the bread and butter, with our most gracefully worded apologies. On our return from setting her on the way, we find number two cosily seated by the fire. She will stay, of course, to the family meal, and expect a good country spread.

Ye household gods! We make as good a display as we may with potted meat, cheese, jams, dry toast, buttered toast, bread and butter. But what will you? She made no complaint of the absence of cakes and pastry but politely hinted that she thought our jelly might be improved upon.

It is this way. In the North of England, your fruit jelly must turn clean and solid out of your cups, cut with something of the consistency of a soft cream cheese, and preserve a comely shape during the process of being sliced into nothingness. The standard type of jellies and jams will vary in different localities of Scotland, but in our ain countryside, jelly so stiff it shall come solid and unquivering out of a cup is a quality that is not aimed at.

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