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Friday, 16 December 2016

Dorset Apple Cake; William Barnes; Eclogue



THE GREAT DORSET APPLE CAKE BAKE OFF, Philip Strange, Marshwood Vale magazine

"What’s all the fuss about and what exactly is a Dorset Apple Cake?"

"There is also a reference to apple cake in a poem, Father Come Home (1834), by the Dorset dialect poet, William Barnes, and I suspect that apple cakes have been made in Dorset for a very long time".

"Your supper's nearly ready. I've a-got
Some teaties here a-doen in the pot;
I wish wi' all my heart I had some meat.
I got a little ceake too, here, a-beaken o'n
Upon the vier. 'Tis done by this time though
He's nice an' moist; vor when I were-a meakin o'n
I stuck some bits ov apple in the dough".


Some other Dorset apple cake recipes:


Another recipe

Full text of the Barnes poem:

ECLOGUE: FATHER COME HWOME


JOHN, WIFE, AN' CHILD

CHILD
O mother, mother! be the teäties done?
Here's father now a-comèn down the track.
He's got his nitch o' wood upon his back,
An' such a speäker in en! I'll be bound,
He's long enough to reach vrom ground
Up to the top ov ouer tun;
'Tis jist the very thing vor Jack an' I
To goo a-colepecksèn wi', by an' by.

WIFE
The teäties must be ready pretty nigh;
Do teäke woone up upon the fork an' try.
The ceäke upon the vier, too, 's a-burnèn,
I be afeärd: do run an' zee, an' turn en.

JOHN
Well, mother! here I be woonce mwore, at hwome.

WIFE
Ah! I be very glad you be a-come.
You be a-tired an' cwold enough, I s'pose;
Zit down an' rest your bwones, an' warm your nose.

JOHN
Why I be nippy: what is there to eat?

WIFE
Your supper's nearly ready. I've a-got
Some teäties here a-doèn in the pot;
I wish wi' all my heart I had some meat.
I got a little ceäke too, here, a-beäkèn o'n
Upon the vier. 'Tis done by this time though.
He's nice an' moist; vor when I wer a-meäkèn o'n
I stuck some bits ov apple in the dough.

CHILD
Well, father; what d'ye think? The pig got out
This mornèn; an' avore we zeed or heärd en,
He run about, an' got out into geärden,
An' routed up the groun' zoo wi' his snout!

JOHN
Now only think o' that! You must contrive
To keep en in, or else he'll never thrive.

CHILD
An' father, what d'ye think? I voun' to-day
The nest where thik wold hen ov our's do lay:
'Twer out in orcha'd hedge, an' had vive aggs.

WIFE
Lo'k there: how wet you got your veet an' lags!
How did ye get in such a pickle, Jahn?

JOHN
I broke my hoss, an' been a-fwo'ced to stan'
All's day in mud an' water vor to dig,
An' meäde myzelf so wetshod as a pig.

CHILD
Father, teäke off your shoes, then come, and I
Will bring your wold woones vor ye, nice an' dry.

WIFE
An' have ye got much hedgen mwore to do?

JOHN
Enough to last vor dree weeks mwore or zoo.

WIFE
An' when y'ave done the job you be about,
D'ye think you'll have another vound ye out?

JOHN
O ees, there'll be some mwore: vor after that,
I got a job o' trenchèn to goo at;
An' then zome trees to shroud, an' wood to vell,—
Zoo I do hope to rub on pretty well
Till zummer time; an' then I be to cut
The wood an' do the trenchèn by the tut.

CHILD
An' nex' week, father, I'm a-gwaïn to goo
A-pickèn stwones, d'ye know, vor Farmer True.

WIFE
An' little Jack, you know, 's a-gwaïn to eärn
A penny too, a-keepèn birds off corn.

JOHN
O brave! What wages do 'e meän to gi'e?

WIFE
She dreppence vor a day, an' twopence he.

JOHN
Well, Polly; thou must work a little spracker
When thou bist out, or else thou wu'ten pick
A dungpot lwoad o' stwones up very quick.

CHILD
Oh! yes I shall. But Jack do want a clacker:
An' father, wull ye teäke an' cut
A stick or two to meäke his hut?

JOHN
You wench! why you be always up a-baggèn.
I be too tired now to-night, I'm sure,
To zet a-doèn any mwore:
Zoo I shall goo up out o' the waÿ o' the waggon.

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