In was eleven years old when I first read The Country Child by Alison Uttley ~ I chose it as my “book of the week” to read in primary school. I remember I was so captivated and enchanted by the book that I couldn’t put it down ~ it was a “torch under the bedclothes night” with me reading well after my mum thought I had gone to sleep.
I have subsequently met many other people who felt the same magic as I did on first reading it; the simple tale of a country child in late Victorian England and her day to day life on the family farm. It may not sound very interesting, but the prose and descriptions of a rural way of life that is sadly no more is hugely engaging and very poignant. The descriptions of the food they cook, the passing of the seasons and the year through feasts and festivals are intensely vivid, and even today it still remains my favourite book.
One of the key characters in the book is the Oatcake Man ~ he travels around the countryside with his basket of freshly made oatcakes and wins the heart of the serving girl who works on the farm in the book. It is therefore fitting that I mention the book when it comes to my recipe for Oatcakes…….plus the book is set in the Derbyshire Peak district of England where these style oatcakes are popular.