Snapshot: ‘Pancake day’ by Mrs V Woolf & Q Bell

“When in a good & merry mood, Trisy would seize a dozen eggs & a bucket of flour, coerce a cow to milk itself, & then mixing the ingredients toss them 20 times high up over the skyline, & catch them as they fell in dozens & dozens & dozen of pancakes.” So wrote Virginia Woolf in 1923, describing her sister’s cook in one of the playful captions accompanying her nephew Quentin’s sketches in the bulletins he created to chronicle life at Charleston, the family’s Sussex farmhouse. Trisy was a hit-and-miss cook, Woolf continued: “Her porridge was a very different affair. This was costive close & crusty. It dolloped out of a black pan in lumps of mortar. It stank; it stuck.” The Charleston Bulletin Supplements, Woolf’s last known unpublished work, were published this week by the British Library.

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