Cooking On Granite

cooking on granite

  • (cook) prepare a hot meal; "My husband doesn't cook"

  • The practice or skill of preparing food

  • The process of preparing food by heating it

  • the act of preparing something (as food) by the application of heat; "cooking can be a great art"; "people are needed who have experience in cookery"; "he left the preparation of meals to his wife"

  • Food that has been prepared in a particular way

  • (cook) someone who cooks food

  • something having the quality of granite (unyielding firmness); "a man of granite"

  • Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. Granites usually have a medium to coarse grained texture. Occasionally some individual crystals (phenocrysts) are larger than the groundmass in which case the texture is known as porphyritic.

  • A very hard, granular, crystalline, igneous rock consisting mainly of quartz, mica, and feldspar and often used as a building stone

  • plutonic igneous rock having visibly crystalline texture; generally composed of feldspar and mica and quartz

  • Used in similes and metaphors to refer to something very hard and impenetrable

Weston Coyney crossroads, Stoke-on-Trent, summer, 1954.

Weston Coyney crossroads, Stoke-on-Trent, summer, 1954.

A terrible family tragedy in 1954 saw us having to uproot ourselves and move lock, stock and barrel from Cheadle Heath in Stockport forty-odd miles away to the south to a place I’d never heard of called Stoke-on-Trent. Totally against the move, I, at aged seven and a half years, had to leave behind everything I knew and all those I loved, most importantly, my best pal Billy Bennett, whom I referred to as “My Billy.” I was never to see Billy again. The move ruined my life and I never got over it.

My father had secured a job training as a miner in the now non-existant North Staffordshire coalfields and a brand new house went with the job…a house on the then still being built NCB Coalville Estate at Weston Coyney.

And so, on Saturday, September 18th, 1954, our belongings having preceded us in a removal van, we made the long journey by steam train from Stockport to Stoke-on-Trent. My father, who had gone ahead of us, met us on the platform at Stoke station and, after we had done some shopping in a grocers called Princes on the corner of Glebe Street and Church Street, we travelled by PMT bus to Longton bus station in The Strand, where we caught a cream and green Berresford’s double – decker bus to Weston Coyney. We got off the bus at a place called The Close, crossed over the road and walked down a pathway with cabins / offices of Lovatt builders on our left into Coalville Estate, which looked like a huge building site. The roads and pavements were unmade and full of granite rocks. We made our way down Foxglove Close and West Street and finally arrived at our destination, 1, Raglan Street (long since renamed Dimmelow Street). The electric and gas were not yet connected and wouldn’t be until Monday. So we borrowed a bucket of coal off one of the neighbours and made a fire in the grate and cooked our first meal in the house on it…egg and bacon.

Everywhere, there was a smell of newness and the plaster on the walls was still wet, the plasterers having only just moved out before we arrived. Coming from a Victorian terraced house in Stockport with no bathroom and an outside toilet in the back yard, it was a great novelty to find we had the luxury of a separate indoor bathroom and toilet. However, for me, by night time, the novelty had worn off and, as my mother was tucking me up in bed, I asked her “When are we going home, mummy?” “This is our home now”, she answered, “we’ll have to settle here.” “This isn’t my home…1, Eva Road is my home”, I told her. “I hate this place! I’ll never settle here! I want to go home! I want my Billy!” My mother was unable to console me and left the room and gently closed the door as I buried my face into my pillow and sobbed bitterly. “Oh, Billy, Billy, Billy!”

Over 57 years later at the age of nearly 65, retired now on health grounds, I live alone and have never had a girlfriend; never been married and never had any children and I'm in the unenviable position of never having been able to make any friends in Stoke-on-Trent in all the 57 years I've lived here.

When, at the age of seven and a half, I was dragged here from Stockport against my wishes, having to leave behind everyone and everything I knew and loved, it effectively ruined my life and I've never recovered from it. It was a personal tragedy of immense proportions. I've nothing to thank the Stokies for and generally speaking, they have never accepted me or made me welcome and I don't feel I belong here in any way whatsoever. Even now, whenever anyone asks me where I'm from, I always answer Stockport. I'm too ashamed and embarrassed to tell them I live in Stoke-on-Trent and I'm not surprised by that. At present, I am just drifting along and waiting for the end. There's no point in doing anything else.

Why don't I move back to Stockport? Well, even if I could afford to move (which I can't), I am now too old; too ill and too tired to be bothered. So I reckon I might as well stay here now until the end.

Camp rock - - in scale

Camp rock  - - in scale

Camp rock has a huge natual three sided inclosure that would have been handy for a wagon train to use to cook a meal in (out of the wind), barricade oxen in for the night, or to sign your name with a mixture of axle grease and charcoal - - to let others know you had passed this way and when. Be sure to walk all the way around this big rock to see the notes left and peer up at the mud swallow nests, who have colonized this "camp" for themselves.

The City of Rocks is located just a bit N.E. of where Nevada, Utah, and Idaho to Almo, Idaho.

The easiest way to get there is south from Burley, Idaho to Almo.

It is an internatinal destination for rock climbers who covet the steep granite spires. But it is also a place full of history (The California Trail) passed through here as did a stage coach route. Before the emigrants, Shoshone and probably Bannock Indians visited the game rich mountains and the much prized pinon pine nuts. This reserve has the largest stand of these trees (and the largest specimen), in the state.

You can drive from sagebrush to aspen groves in 15 minutes. Well located campsites dot the are in strategic locations.

It is a place to come back to. This was my first visit but it won't be my last. I already have my favorite campsite picked out.

THE ROAD TRIP (November 2008):

With gasoline at under $2.23 a gallon; a weather forecast for Utah that looked great for 10 days; I headed out on an impromptu road trip from my home in Eastern Washington, with three destinations on my "wish list":

City of rocks near Almo, Idaho
San Rafael Swell near Green River, Utah
Davis Gulch near Escalante, Utah

I made it to all three; took some interesting hikes; and just flat out enjoyed roaming about the countryside with camera (Canon G9) in hand, seeing places I hadn't seen before. Great trip! OMT

cooking on granite

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