School and Saffron Buns

Bill comes across an old school recipe for saffron buns


‘New School’ that’s what we’m called it. I was only in it a year or so before I hit my fifteenth birthday Christmas time. And that was it: school over. Not every one left at the same time of year them days and not one said goodbye.

We didn’t always have New School in Liskeard: As Infants we went in opposite the little park to Varley Lane School. Juniors were up the hill at St Martin’s church hall. Seniors back Varley Lane: through the front gate; what they’m calling Liskerrett Centre.

But there’m quite a crowd of us children we’m overflowing. We had gym in Congregation hall at what’s now Spar and Albion. The Wesleyan chapel were five classrooms downstairs and dinner was had up St Martin’s hall. We spent more’n half the day walkin’ about town, fit we were.

We used to have cooking lessons us boys when I was going to school. Miss Lorrayn was the cookery teacher, she was, quite an old lady. On our first cooking lesson she said, “I’ve got a little poem I want you to write down.” And it went

“First the oven
Then the tin
Wash my ‘ands
And then begin.”

I’ve got my little old cooking book and a recipe you might be interested in.

Miss Louraine’s Saffron Buns

½ lb of plain flour
½ teaspoon of salt
1oz lard or margarine
1oz of sugar
2ozs dried fruit
½ oz yeast
½ teaspoon sugar
1 gill saffron liquid

In Cornwall Saffron cake is made special for Easter Sunday and also for tea time. Over Easter week we eat small buns with lots of clotted cream, lovely they’m.

Seal the saffron and leave covered. Cream the yeast and sugar and add a little warm milk and leave to sponge. Sift flour and salt. Rub the fat in, and then add the sugar and the clean fruit. Mix in the yeast and the luke warm saffron liquid.
Beat well until smooth. Leave to rise. Kneed again and shape .Place on a warm tin. Leave in a warm place until the buns double in size. Bake in a hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes until brown and firm to the touch.

We used to make em and eat em on the way home. Later on, later on.