Since our last culinary rendezvous, and by a sheer stroke of serendipity I discovered Patricia Matthews of Bolton, Greater Manchester, England via social media – Well, what do ya know! And at the grand age of 67, Patricia became an author of her first cookery book – Grandma’s Antique Recipes, a YouTube sensation, and local celebrity.
Suffice to say, Patricia and I have many things in common, one being we're extremely gung-ho at reviving recipes and cooking practices from a bygone era. Therefore, I relished the opportunity to interview Patricia, which has been featured in my ‘monthly column’ – The Whidbey Weekly.
Now, a little insight into this magnificent lady! Patricia entered this world in 1946 and grew up in Bolton, which during such time was considered part of Lancashire. Along with a plethora of siblings, she was raised in a red brick, two up two down terraced house, which one would lovingly describe as a ‘bijou’ residence!
Patricia being a strong-minded kinda lass managed to avoid the cotton mill. She eventually worked for William Walker & Sons leather factory, where at the tender age of 20 years old Patricia met her husband to be – Ronnie!
You see darlings, during those glorious days of ‘courting’ (American translation: dating!), Ronnie introduced his sweetheart to his legendary Grandmother Sarah, who was born in Salford, Lancashire during the reign of Queen Victoria - curtsey please! Patricia affectionately described Grandmother Sarah as, “Strait-laced, but with a ‘wicked’ sense of humour!”
Grandmother Sarah was an excellent cook, who ‘whipped up’ an abundance of culinary delights in her 1950’s style scullery. In fact, Grandmother Sarah handwrote a ‘gem’ of a book which comprises of 160 recipes for cakes, cures, medicines, furniture polishes, and handy hints! This book was bequeathed to Patricia in Grandmother Sarah’s ‘Will’, along with her wedding ring, trifle dishes, rolling pin and weighing scales.
Darlings, for 40 years this book laid safely tucked away within the comfortable surroundings of Patricia’s most appealing ‘drawers’ – Oh, I say! Until plans were made to revive Grandmother Sarah’s handwritten legacy to share with those culinary enthusiasts of yesteryear, because Patricia enthused, “It gives an insight into the lives of women from Grandmother Sarah’s era”.
Patricia recalled many fond memories, one being her favourite ‘kitchen maxim’ (kitchen rule of conduct) of Grandmother Sarah’s. Patricia giggled as she proceeded to enunciate, “Oh no, no, no, no, here it goes again, the biggest hurry, the least speed!”. Patricia explained, “If you rush and splutter, mistakes will be made, then you have to start all over again” – Darlings, Miss Windsor couldn’t agree more!
During the revival of Grandmother Sarah’s gem of a book, together with her husband, and an ‘slr camera’ in hand, they set about filming a YouTube Channel called Grandma’s Antique Recipes.
Funny thing is, Ronnie had no idea how to edit the footage, therefore, he patiently reshot each episode until his darling wife got it right! Apparently, the outtakes were absolutely hilarious - so I can’t wait to witness Ronnie’s newly acquired technical skills, as the producer of an award-winning culinary-comedy offshoot!
Following Patricia’s enormous success, her local radio station – Bolton FM, invited her to guest star in their Community Corner show where she talked about all things ‘old-fashioned’ – How spiffing! She also appeared on the Mel & Sue Show at Princess TV in London, where fellow guests Jack Whitehall and his father absolutely adored Patricia’s Corned Beef Hash Pie.
Darlings, please click on the image below for Miss Windsor's spiffing article – ‘Memories of a Lancashire Lass’.
Also, why not purchase Patricia’s book – Grandma’s Antique Recipes via Amazon. All proceeds go to charity.
Cheerio for now,
ALL PHOTOS PROVIDED BY PATRICIA MATTHEWS.