Beef Tea Heirloom

This Schauer Australian Cookery Book
fifteenth impression: cover torn, binding
tattered, pages misaligned, some creased,
some ripped from her hurried use.

Between the recipes for small cakes,
a blank cheque and in faint purple pencil,
her winning version of rock cakes with
extra lemon zest and sugar crust.

In the savoury section, small black&whites:
my brother, aged eight in cricket gear,
then at his wedding, and my sister just
at the door of our leaning outhouse.

According to the insert at page 558, my
mother was joint winner in the state’s
Bronze Foursomes Championship in golf.
She’d serve rich trifles in her prized crystal.

Legally blind in her final year, she asked for
beef tea. I note now from the Invalid Cookery
pages, a beaten egg yolk and white added
separately at boiling point fortifies the broth.

Inside the back cover, a yellowed cutting:
how to join the Women’s Royal Australian
Army Corps and on the reverse: Tested
recipes you will find very easy to follow

Kathryn Fry


Kathryn Fry has poems in Home is the Hunter (2016), ear to earth (2017) and the Newcastle Poetry Prize anthologies of 2014 and 2016. Her poems are also in Cordite Poetry Review (2016) and Not Very Quiet (2017, 2018). Her first collection is Green Point Bearings (Ginninderra Press 2018).

© 2018