My Thoughts

Old Stove

Tales of my Youth : 2

I recall one trip to my Grandmother’s home in Parkes. It still amuses me.


On our previous trip home, we stopped for a rest break where my father found a butcher’s shop with the best sausages in Australia, (As he described them. Naturally, we stopped on this trip to get some more.

Nan Howard was awaiting our arrival. My father bragged about his find so he could put them in the fridge. I don’t remember if it was a fridge or an ice-box, but probably a fridge.

Have you ever used a wood-fired oven? It’s a big cast-iron monster with a fire burning at one end and multiple ovens along. To control the temperature of your meal while cooking, you move it to the oven at the right temperature. The top is a cast-iron slab with holes fitted with cast rings. You would use a lifting rod to remove the number of rings to suit your pan, and with flames shooting past you could set your pan for use.

Well, my grandmother decided she would cook the sausages for my father for breakfast. Being a country girl, she was always up well before anyone else. She stoked the fire and placed the cast-iron pan.

Imagine if you will, a deep pan filled with the saved fat and lard of years of cooking that had its place in the corner of the cooker. I mean filled!

My father arrived at the kitchen door just in time to see the last of his prized sausages submerging like doomed submarines into the greasy depths. We all felt sorry for him, and he never stopped for sausages again.

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