»  Letter: Tuesday, January 13, 1976

    E.A. Derbyshire to John Derbyshire

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Envelope front

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  Transcription of Letter

From
Mrs J.R. Derbyshire
62, Friars Avenue
Delapre
Northampton
England

To
Mr John Derbyshire
14, Legion Drive
Valhalla
New York 10595
U.S.A.

Jan. 13th

Darling,

thank you for super letter, what a marvellous trip, how brave of you. I hope it has done you good. Don't work yourself into a coronary, eh.!

Now, my love, I'm so happy to know you approve of me coming & today I have renewed my passport, & now have to get a visa & possibly a vaccination. Tomorrow I am paying my deposit which is £30 +£6 for insurance & booking my flight for mid June for 21-28 days. I'll let you have details later  The fare is £137 return by charter & £207 otherwise, so I have opted for £137. I have to pay the rest by mid-March. Of course any contribution will be welcome, but don't feel under any obligation love, whatever it is will be worth it just to see you. I could die happy just to see you again!! I'm really thrilled.

I shall have to leave Dad financially sound, but that's no problem, & Judy & Auntie Cis will keep an eye on him. I wish he'd come, but you know Dad by now, he won't move from home although he'd love to see you. Do you want me to bring you anything in particular, please say. Oh! have you had your "Times" crossword book yet.?

The evenings are getting lighter & so far weather has been really mild, though colder today, so we're hoping Winter won't be too bad. I've put a few pounds in weight back, so have to try & get it off now. I want you to be proud of me. Judy is so pleased & I have promised to bring Tess a present back. Today I went to my club, I am on the committee & we gave a party. I made 6 dozen mince pies & the other lady members made cakes, sandwiches & sausage rolls, etc. it was quite a day. I should like to visit a hospital if possible, while I'm with you, so that I can give a lecture when I return. Could you give me an address & I will write to the Superintendant soon myself. Now you look after yourself, I'm dying to see you & hope to see you looking fit & well  Oh! roll on June, also looking forward to meeting your friend Jay. So glad you have found a "better 'ole." Write soon.

                Love from all here.

        By the way, I have an invitation to visit Mary & Fred, my friend in Worthing, my nephew Harry at Penzance, & a tour in Scotland in early September, but I've turned them all down, you are my priority this year.

                Love you

        X X X  Mother

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This is Tess waiting for Santa Claus. She has gymnastics now, & piano lessons twice a week. She's quite a girl.

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Steak & Kidney Pie

Pastry known as Shortcrust.

1 lb Self Raising Flour.
½ lb Lard.
Pinch Salt.
a little water —

Rub all together lightly with finger tips, till it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Mix with a little water, about 2-3 tablespoons, or 1-2 ozs — to a dough. Too much water will make it sticky & heavy. Sprinkle a fair amount of flour on a firm surface & roll out about 1/8" thick. [If you don't have a rolling pin, use any bottle.] Any pastry left can be used for tarts etc. This is a good pastry for any pies & will keep in a fridge for 1-2 weeks.

Now.  1 lb stewing steak
        ½ lb lamb's kidneys
        1 chopped onion
        salt & pepper
        stock — made with oxo or other meat cube & about ½ pint hot water.
        Any herbs you like.
        1 Green pepper — (optional)
        Cup red wine — (optional)
        kidneys have a fine membrane covering — remove this & also remove the white core — while you are doing this note the beauty of the structure & how small an organ deals with your health.!!

        Cut meat & kidney into small — about 1" pieces, roll in flour & gently toss in a little fat & brown in pan. add onion & other ingredients, cover with stock & gently simmer 1½ to 2 hrs till tender. The gravy needs to be slightly thickened, but usually the flour the meat is rolled in is enough, if not mix a little flour to a thin paste & darken with any gravy colouring & add to the stew. When cooked place in pie dish. Moisten edge of dish & press around a thin strip of pastry. Cover with a pastry lid, trim edges, make a cut in the top, to let out the steam & cook in a preset oven about 350° or No 6 on a gas cooker till pastry nicely brown. I'll make you one when I come.

        By the way cut the kidneys down the middle & remove any white core  put a little flour on your hands as they are very slippery & you may cut yourself. Half a finger wouldn't do the pie any good!!