My lovely mother-in-law Sally was one of the lucky ones who was chosen to be a volunteer in planting the ceramic poppies at the Tower of London, it was such a great story I asked her to recount it for edible news.
“It is brilliantly organised, H&S talk and film, red Vol T shirt, glasses (so we didn’t poke our eyes out and gardening gloves. Fully briefed but nice young men we were sectioned off into groups and told to follow our ‘leader’. Collected vast boxes of poles, ceramic petals and all the bits and bobs to make them…..yes you have to put them together before you whack them with a mallet into the ground. We came up from the moat area and walked through the visitors to get to the part of the mote that we were planting, which was by the waterfall by the entrance. We were like celebrities, kids taking pictures of us with the boxes for ‘show and tell’ at school! Some handed out the poles and the other pieces that went to secure the petals in place and others, myself and my friend Ros, then put them together and ‘planted them’. Easier said than done as some of the holes were too small for the metal poles (stems) to go in and then a ceramic poppy might not actually fit, so you would start all over again! I planted mine in a battalion, they really did take on personalities, small and fat, especially shiny and lovely, a little chipped, just like the men who fell, all individual. There was a couple who were on their way on holiday and their daughter had given them a night in a nice hotel and dinner as a present. The only trouble was it had cost them £100 to park their car for 24 hours! Another couple lived in Burnham Market, he had sold his business in the docks a few years previously and moved up there. They were having Christmas breakfast in Byfords……I shall look out for them! Another older chap had been in the Navy and then became a fireman, this was his third stint volunteering. We were all late middle aged (old) but maybe that was because we had gravitated to each other! Everybody, helped everyone else and it was a lovely atmosphere, with plenty of picture taking. the people in charge were relaxed and helpful and in the end we took all our empty boxes and the discarded unusable poppies back to where we had come in. Ros, had come up from Devon and was going back that day! But totally worth it, one of the proudest days in my life, I can truly say. Just so pleased that when I thought of volunteering I actually did it. Not sure if those men we were commemorating would have agreed that their volunteering had such a feel good factor.”
I was so inspired by the poppy display that I decided to make us all Poppyseed pasta for dinner. Dying the spaghetti was so unbelievably easy and Harry wants us to make it in every colour.
Poppy Seed Pasta
- red food colouring
- sage (for decoration only)